Me No Hot, No Pain!

Another self-torturing performance freaked us out at the Tagesan Fudoson (多気山不動尊) fire festival.

Young monk appeared in public with a handful of bamboo branches in his hand, then approached the big metal bowl filled with boiling water. After reciting a sutra, he revealed his upper body. We just held our breath and waited for his next move to come...

He broke the silence by frantically spraying boiling water on himself. We were just speechless at this show of extravagant discipline. Bamboo branches shuttled between the pot and his body more than 10 times until his body was (most likely) cooked.

When it was done, he was overwhelmed by the standing ovation.


  1. good news. am addicted to visit japan. am looking at possibility of visiting end this year. do keep all this great infos posted. it has certainly helped me. appreciate it.

  2. Wow, what a shot! Excellent, again.
    I hope this monk was not hurt seriously after his show.

  3. Lily Riani,
    I'm visiting end of year too. ^^

    Cool shot. The intensity of the young monk was clearly seen in your photo.

  4. hey, what about those guys wearing face masks???
    this is a most excellent action shot, and I hope the only thing overwhelming this young monk was the standing ovation! I'm so happy you're taking photos again Yoshi. I missed you a whole lot. have a beautiful week.

  5. Words alone could never tell this story as poignantly as this image. A sense of the moment is vividly captured. It's overwhelming to think about what is happening here. I appreciate this glimpse into an experience that I most likely will never witness and find difficult to understand.

  6. They are wearing face masks because it's allergy season.

  7. Ouch, this is really self-torture! This is a kind of training??
    During お水取りin Todai-ji Temple, 11 priests hold too severe physical training on behalf of us. Maybe he tortured himself for our sin??? Very interesting picture.
    Have a nice day!

  8. Intense.

    Anna, I see face masks all year around in Tochigi. But of course they are much much more prevalent during allergy season.

  9. Jon, I know, but people who are not in Japan, when they see photos of people in face masks, especially now, let's just say it's a bit sensationalistic, if you know what I mean ;) They just don't know about how common face masks are in Japan. I sleep in one almost every night, because I'm allergic to dust and mold.

  10. So good to see you back Yoshi! Your photography is always wonderful, and in some ways, perhaps it can be a self-healing tool as time passes too. You have a natural eye for photography that can't be taught. It is a gift.

  11. I enjoy reading your posts and glad to see you're back. Your picture really tells a story as if I was there painfully watching it.


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