I want to write this story before my tube socks have a chance to dry. Usually I prefer ankle socks to match whatever outfit I may be wearing, but with last night’s diaper, there really was no other option.
Let me explain. A couple weeks before I left for Japan I was invited to participate in Rubeshibe’s biggest annual festival. Wanting to jump right into my new environment, I enthusiastically agreed, not knowing what my participation would entail.
Well, last night the big night arrived. George, my predecessor, advised me to pack a pair of shoes I didn’t mind getting wet and a change of clothes. With an extra set of skivvys in tow we headed out the door, picked up Kiwi Roger and made our way to the center of town.
When we arrived at a rather unassuming building we were ushered in, handed a bento box dinner, a beer and a package of what looked like tea towels. We marched upstairs and said “konbanwa” –good evening- to the hundred or so Japanese men already eating their meals.
The majority of the assembly finished eating before us, and in the same room these gentlemen began to strip. My surprise was evident, although George and Roger already knew the deal. Now, mostly naked or all the way naked the guys unwrapped their packages of not tea towels but festival garb. This entailed a pair of short white shorts, an extra long white body wrap, tube socks and a headband.
I opted to wear the shorts and wrap the wrap around my belly as most, but not all of the other guys were doing. The others discarded the shorts, wrapped their bellies a couple of times and began to twist the end of their wrap. Usually aided by a friend, the twisted end was fashioned into what resembled ladies thong underwear. Right up the crack. In our diapers, conservative or sexy we started making our way, butt cheeks bared, to the festival grounds.
When we got to our designated patch of grass, us boys milled around for the next 20 minutes slapping bugs and butts. In front of us stood a giant shrine resting on big crossbeams for carrying.
We were divided up into four lines and led through an easy routine of calisthenics. The Shinto priest in charge of ceremonies said a blessing and we were each given a tall glass of sake. Dancing girls climbed aboard the shrine, and with fire in our bellies and a breeze on our behinds, we took places and hoisted the heavy load onto our shoulders.
All through town we went. Sometimes forward, sometimes backward, and even bouncing up and down. The whole time, our group of 100 strong was being exhorted by other guys in diapers with gym class whistles. One side would blow and yell “Washoi,” and the other side would respond with a “Washoi!” of their own. I asked what washoi meant, and was told by Roger that it didn’t mean anything, but if I didn’t move my ass it meant he would walk right up my backside.
When I believed myself to be at the point of absolute exhaustion, we pulled up to the staircase leading to the river bank. We were allowed to set down the shrine for a moment as the townspeople shoved more sake, or beer, or energy drinks down our throats.
Up again with the shrine, and this time down the staircase and into the river. I found myself at the very front of the procession. As we tried to level out, entering the river I could not find decent footing while still supporting the shrine. I was momentarily pulled off of my spot and forced to position farther back. Fine by me.
George yelled into my ear, “Don’t get any water into your mouth, it’s full of pesticides.” I took this to heart, but immediately our diaper dandy leaders started splashing wildly. I did my best, but still managed to put down a few dozen gallons.
As we water marched along, dancing girls and heavy shrine in tow, all yelling “Washoi! Washoi!,” an incredible fireworks display broke out from the riverbanks. The whole town turned out to watch the show, and as the smoke from the fireworks enveloped the river and shrine, I could have sworn I was on the set of Apocalypse Now. Thousands of eyes upon us from every direction, big drums banging away on one side of the river and small fires elevated out of the water made the whole scene surreal.
Three times we were allowed to stop on our route, and each time we guzzled beers and sake to replenish ourselves and numb the pain creeping into each man’s shoulders. Cigarettes were provided, and the men smoked them in celebratory style and poured beers over each other’s heads as if they had just won the Shrine Carrying World Series.
Mercifully our march came to an end as we climbed out of the river and up a ramp back to the shrine proper. We fetched our dry regular clothes and were led to a big hotel overlooking the river.
At the hotel there was a very large natural spring and we were all given free access, and this time an actual tea towel. I used the towel to cover my modesty, but most of the boys were interested in showing off the angle of their dangle.
With everybody finally washed and clothed we were taken back to the first building and fed a rather large feast. All meat. All man food (and beer and sake too). It was a great spread as we swapped stories. “Ha! Remember when I couldn’t get my elbow out of your back for like 10 minutes?” “Oh yeah! I remember that, and how about when your head got pinned between the crossbeams and my back and you screamed because you thought your head would split like an edamame. Good times. Good times.”
And then I went to sleep. Don’t ask me what happened next. I was unconscious. I can’t be certain that this really happened and wasn’t a dream. All I know is that when I woke up this morning there was a soaking wet diaper and pair of tube socks in my backpack.