Blessed man

PhotographerYosuke Kashiwakura
PrizePortraiture / Culture
Entry Description

One of the three most bizarre festivals in Japan, the Saidaiji Eyo Festival is a Buddhist event in which 9000 near-naked men scramble to find and keep just two holy sticks, to determine the blessed man of the year. The blessed man refers to the person who has received good fortune from the gods, having been bestowed a holy stick through his devout piety. Naturally, the blessed man attracts considerable attention, and is often lionized to the point that his daily life is completely changed. It is here that the quality and character of the blessed man is tested. The blessed man's duty is to return the blessings he has received from the gods to the people, without mentally breaking down due to the excessive good fortune in his person. At the foundations of the over 500 year-old "Eyo" is "The Way," which is a set of principles that are above the doctrines and trends of single eras, and has been carefully handed down through the generations.

About Photographer

Yosuke Kashiwakura (b. 1978, currently living in Japan.) . He was awarded National Geographic Photo Contest/Nature Category-Honorable Mention, Px3 Paris Photography Prize/Nature Wildlife 1st Place Winner, Px3 Paris Photography Prize/Nature Earth 1st Place Winner, Monochrome Photography Awards/1st Place Winner - Landscape Photographer of the Year, People 3rd Place Winner, LensCulture Earth Awards 2015/Single Image Category 2nd Place, Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards, International Photography Awards. His work went on to be displayed in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, COP21–PARIS 2015 Photography Exhibition. His photographs depict natural scenery, the confrontation between human and nature, and environmental problems. He is active in a wide variety of media, including magazines, various publications, and advertisements.