The wave comes again, like it had many times before. The pain on my feet, arms, and chest returns as bodies all around me squish my own, and I try to find open pockets to relieve the crunch. But you learn very quickly to become one with the flow, for if you don’t recreate the balance the only outcome is defeat. I push back with all that I can to make sure the people at the other end won’t be able to advance so easily, as they try to force themselves in the center of the madness.
The monk standing above us occasionally pulls out a ladle to throw water on us, and holds out his hands to give periodic signs as a countdown for the main event.
Then everything turns pitch black. The yelling gets louder. The sticks are dropped. The fight begins.
Such was the Okayama Naked Man Festival.