Saturday, February 1, 2014

Setsubun (Bean-Throwing Festival)

( posted Japanese culture page);   
               My header has been changed for the new post. 
          So sorry for the unmatched one if you visit here directly for this page!

Wishing "Demons out! Luck in!" on Feb. 3rd. Setsubun 節分,
(節分"Setubun" Bean-Throwing Festival or Bean-Throwing Ceremony) is the day before the beginning of spring. The two characters literally mean "seasonal division". We also have another term called "Risshun (立春)" celebrated yearly on February 3 as part of the Spring Festival (春祭 haru matsuri). In its association with the Lunar New Year, Spring Setsubun can be and was previously thought of as a sort of New Year's Eve, and so was accompanied by a special ritual to cleanse away all the evil of the former year and drive away disease-bringing evil spirits for the year to come. This special ritual is called mamemaki (豆撒き, literally "bean throwing").

While throwing beans we say, "Demons out! Luck in!"
 (鬼は外! 福は内! Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!)

*恵方巻き Good Fortune Sushi Rolls*
Eho-maki (fortune rolls) are futo-maki (thick sushi rolls) eaten on the night of Setsubun. To be related with the Seven Deities of Good Fortune called Shichifukujin, seven fillings are traditionally rolled in a sushi roll. For example, simmered shiitake mushrooms and kanpyo (dried gourd), cucumber, rolled omelet (tamagoyaki), eels, sakura denbu (sweet fish powder), and seasoned koyadofu (freeze-dried tofu) are used. These ingredients represent good health, happiness, and prosperity, and rolling the fillings means good fortune.

*At temples and shrines*
At temples and shrines, bean trowing ceremonies are held. The video below is from last year at a temple in Chiba-pref. Sometimes TV talents or celebrities are invited. You can see the sumo wrestlers in the picture.  Eating beans on this day means you'll have "No sickness No misfortune".  You might think it funny, but usually we eat beans with same number of our age or one more p;)  

Thank you very much for your precious time vising my page. 
I'll link this post to Our World Tuesday.

This post is the  Revised Version from the post of Jan. 24, 2012.


  1. Happy New Year, Miyako! The bean throwing ceremony is different. It is nice learning the traditions and customs of your country. I enjoyed the video, thanks for sharing. Have a happy weekend!

  2. Feliz novo ano e que seja só de coisas boas e BEM! bjs, chica!

  3. i like these traditions and the meaning behind them! i wish you a very happy new year and good luck in spring!


  4. Oh! oh! How I love sushi, could eat it daily! Have a lovely Saturday

  5. Hi Miyako. I loved reading about this ceremony last year and enjoyed your new additions to it. I would get to eat 74 beans. I could do that easily!! (I wish I could eat 74 of the sushi rolls! Not really, of course, but they do look absolutely delicious.)

    I did not know that the first day of spring was in February in Japan. Here it is March 20.

    I always learn something new when I visit. Thank you for that!

  6. Silly me, but I've never wondered what sakura denbu was made of! So never known until I read your translation today! I really learn Japanese things here :-)
    And now I recall that we ate the same number of mame as our age. Fun tradition, isn't it :-)

    I'm sorry to know you might be affected by air pollution. I hear it's really bad in China. I hope it won't get any worse...

    Have a lovely weekend, Miyako san!

  7. Dearest Miyako,
    Special old traditions for good luck in the new year and spring is a perfect new beginning. Funny, here in the South they do eat black eyed peas as a lucky New Year food for prosperity:
    That was very strange to me when I was here for the very 1st New Year's day... but I got used to it!
    One wonders which culture started with it?
    You have some beautiful Japanese young women in that video!

  8. Happy new year, my dear friend! I love learning about the festivals and celebrations. Here in the southern part of the US, we eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day as a symbol that good things will happen. My mom also adds cornbread to that meal, too, but I don't really know if others do that, or if it is just her.

  9. This was interesting yes it has been another bloody long time since I have been here for a visit

  10. My sweet Miyako, what a wonderful festival to celebrate. I love the symbolism of the "seasonal division". Your customs are beautiful and fascinating. Brightest blessings to you my friend, as we welcome spring. Mina

  11. Hello Miyako, thank you for sharing the traditions and for explaining more on the festival. Have a happy week!

  12. Miyako ~ I am honored to have you share these beautiful traditions your world has and wonderful photos ~ thank you ~


  13. your culture and traditions are very fascinating.

  14. Lovely shots and fascinating traditions.

  15. こんばんは。初めまして。 Our World Tuesday で thumbnail を見ました。宜しくお願いします。 蘭の花がお好きなのですか。