Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Setsubun... or competitive bean catching.

Setsubun. Roughly translated it means, "Put a whole bunch of people in the largest area you can find, and throw beans at them." I love Setsubun!
You are supposed to shout, "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" "Ogres out, happiness in!"
I didn't hear that shout during the throwing of the beans, just a lot of laughing and yelling. It was all in good fun.

My son's Japanese kid's group did it a couple of years ago and the kids threw balled up newspaper at a cardboard cutout of Oni. This year he wanted to wear an Oni mask. Oni is one bad dude who carries around a big bar.
I took all these pictures at Kenchoji in Kamakura.
The staff at the temple had a special area roped off for children and seniors. The bean throwing happened during the middle of the day, so there weren't many school-aged children in attendance. For the really little kids, the came around after the big bean toss with boxes of beans and let the kids pull some out. You are supposed to eat a bean for every year of your age.

These kids had a pile of bean in that hat in the middle that they were eating from.
These lion-dogs were part of the ceremony before the bean tossing. The dogs come around and "eat" people for good luck. Those costumes made a chomping sound.
Above is a picture of my Eho-maki you're supposed to eat it while facing East North East, the direction of good fortune this year. I had to pre-order it before the end of January and pick it up on the 2nd or 3rd of February. This roll is supposed to symbolize the bar that Oni carries. I guess you eat it so you're eating away the bad.
These kids were dressed up for part of the festival, but they never looked to happy about it.

1 comment:

Inkspots said...

How fun! I knew I should have gone to Kamakura. Always next year. :D

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