Lifestyle: Bulges of honor from a Japanese festival

June 14, 2016 3:39 PM (UTC+8)

 

Mikoshi

For these men, the large lumps on their shoulders are badges of honor.

These men consider it a matter of pride to shoulder the portable Shinto shrines that carry their deity at a traditional Japanese festival.

As those portable shrines weigh over a tonne (1,000 kilogram), carrying them causes these shoulder calluses that are known in Japanese as “Mikoshi Dako” or “Mikoshi Calluses.” Mikoshi carriers develop bulges on their shoulders, which actually help to reduce the pain of carrying the portable shrine due to the buildup of hardened skin, RocketNews24 reported.

Supported by long wooden poles, the mikoshi is carried around the neighborhood by groups of men and women.

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