Martin's Japan Pages

Our Man In Japan

03 February 2005

Oni wa so to, fu ku wa uchi!

Today is Setsubun in Japan. Setsubun is the day before Risshun, the first day of Spring on the lunar calendar. It's and important day for Japanese people because it allows them to perform rituals to remove bad luck and encourage good luck. Keiko came round to show me how to do this. The first ritual was Setsubun mame maki, or bean throwing. This involved throwing roasted soy beans out of my front door while saying "oni wa so to"(get out demons) and "fu ku wa uchi"(come in happiness). Then we had to eat a big onigiri roll, non-stop, whilst facing in the lucky direction (this year it was West by South-West). It was a bit of a challenge, especially since you can't stop, talk or drink water while you eat this massive rice roll, but I managed to do it.

Hopefully my bad-luck run will come to an end. Fingers-crossed.


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