Hirahara Waterfall Purification Ceremony

(All photos by Ben Weller/AFLO)

Japanese men stood underneath Hirahara Waterfall during the traditional purification ceremony “Hirahara-no-Taki-biraki” in Nishio City, Aichi prefecture, on July 2.
Each year, “yaku-otoko,” men whose current age is considered unlucky, participate in this ceremony, known as mizugori. Water from the falls is directed through bamboo pipes and falls on the men, purifying and protecting them in their unlucky year.