Japanese Ritual Gets New Husbands Drunk to Throw Them Off a Snowy Cliff

Japanese Ritual Gets New Husbands Drunk to Throw Them Off a Snowy Cliff

January 22, 2021
A centuries-old tradition at a town in Japan’s Niigata Prefecture has a quirky and fun way of welcoming new husbands into married life. 
During an annual festival called Matsunoyama Mukonage (Bridegroom Throwing), newlywed husbands in the town of Tokamachi undergo a form of marriage initiation that involves being tossed from a snowy 16-foot cliff in Yakushidou temple ground.  
Celebrated every Jan. 15 to strengthen the town’s new marriages, the 300-year-old tradition also signals the arrival of the Lunar New Year, reports Mashable.
As part of the event, the grooms are lifted over the shoulders of other men as they are paraded through town. The husbands are then given a few rounds of sake which they have to drink before being brought up to the Matsunoyama Onsen atop a hill.
Subscribe to
NextShark's Newsletter

A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.

The alcohol, which is intended to help the grooms somehow endure the impact of hitting the snow, is also given to the men who toss them. 
Upon reaching the top of the hill, the grooms are thrown down into the snow, where they then roll their way down into their wives who are waiting for them at the bottom.
The grooms are then tasked to light a bonfire, from which they get ashes to mix with some snow in a practice called “Suminuri.”
To attract good fortune, the couples rub the soot mixture all over each other’s faces while screaming, “Congratulations!”
This one-of-a-kind tradition reportedly originated from an old town belief of teaching new husbands a lesson as revenge for taking their village girl. After they’re tossed, the husbands would earn the town’s acceptance.
Featured Image Screenshots via Nippon TV News 24 Japan
      Ryan General

      Ryan General is a Senior Reporter for NextShark




      Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.

      Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.

      We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.

      © 2023 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.