Thousands of semi-naked men clad only in brief loincloths took part in the biggest 'naked festival' in Japan, the Hadaka Matsuri, in the city of Okayama on Saturday night.
Men in fundoshi, the traditional Japanese loincloths, gather every year in the Saidaiji temple to compete for the honourable title of 'lucky man'.
After purifying themselves by taking a dip in freezing water, the men struggled fiercely with one another over a pair of lucky sticks, the shingi, which are thrown into the crowd from a four-metre-high window by a priest.
According to local tradition, the men who get hold of the shingi and manage to prevent others snatching them away will be rewarded with a year of happiness. This year's Hadaka Matsuri in Okayama received around 50 foreign visitors from around the world.