Clearly, the bitchin' log ride is what's important here.
Takeuchi -- Get Beaten to a Bloody Pulp With Giant Bamboo Sticks
via Japan Probe
"Takeuchi" literally translates to "bamboo battle," and "bamboo battle" literally translates to a battle with friggin' bamboo. Takeuchi is not a place for your pansy figurative language, college boy.
Described as "half street brawl, half war game," every February 15 a couple hundred citizens of Rokugo, Japan, divvy up into North and South, get hammered, and take the flimsiest excuse to beat the quivering crap out of their friends and neighbors with 20-foot bamboo poles.
They wear helmets, so be sure to hit nowhere but the head.
In true Japanese fashion, even getting drunk and bashing each other's brains in with giant sticks is an organized affair. Takeuchi is divided into three rounds, the first two being your average, run-of-the-mill pole battles (you know how those go), but the third round is where the true madness kicks in. The folks in charge, as laughable as the concept of anybody being "in charge" of the Great Outdoor Stick Fight might be, light a giant bonfire, and the participants dip their sticks in and resume whacking each other with gigantic bendy torch-whips. At least until the fires go out and they resort to fisticuffs, which of course happens often.
Forestry, fighting, fire ... it's the festival trifecta!
After the flames and fists have subsided, the judges declare a winner. Yes, of course there are judges. And yes, of course they're drunk, too. According to tradition, if the North team wins, the rice harvest will be good that year. If the South wins, then the price of rice will go up. Some years, both happen simultaneously, which we assume results in a lightning round with literal lightning.
Monte Richard is a slumlord who sometimes writes about slumlording. E. Reid Ross is a columnist at Man Cave Daily and the proud father of a brand new baby Twitter account that you can coo at here.
Related Reading: For some violent festivals you won't believe are real, click here. Explosive sledgehammer day should be every day. And if you want to feel like a video game character, try this fireball festival. Ready for some city-wide parties? Click here.
Cracked's favorite festival is the pocket film festival. Watch it!