Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cold-Water Rituals in Tokyo, NYC

The Picture of the Day from Japan Today is of several men described as "physical fitness enthusiasts" taking a dip in a pool of freezing water. The ritual, which took place at Teppozu Shrine in Tokyo, is the enthusiasts' way "to keep themselves fit and display their perseverance."

AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi from japantoday.com

Seeing this photo reminded me of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club and its annual New Year's Day Swim. Ruri Kippenbrock, owner of online tenugui shop wuhao newyork, participated in the club's ritual jump in the Atlantic. She introduced tenugui fundoshi, Japanese traditional underwear, to the crowd with the help of Tokyo Circus, a comedian who prefers to wear as little as possible.

Ruri Kippenbrock of wuhao newyork wearing a tenugui as a bathing suit
© eatsdirt's photostream on Flickr

Tokyo Circus in a tenugui fundoshi from wuhao newyork
© eatsdirt's photostream on Flickr

Yes, I'm sure it was cold.
© eatsdirt's photostream on Flickr

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