Happy Setsubun

Every year on February 3rd, Japan celebrates Setsubun (the bean throwing festival; lit. seasonal division). You can read about it here on the wiki page, but basically there are 3 important things to do on this day...

1.  we each count out the number of roasted soy beans which match our age (so I would count out 21 beans - haha you thought I was gonna tell you how old I am??), and eat them.

2.  Mamemaki - we throw the rest of the roasted soy beans at the `devil`, or a person wearing a devil`s mask, and shout the words `oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi` (which means `demons out, luck in`). If you want to print out your own devil`s mask, check this link for some cute printables.

3.  Ehomaki - we eat big rolls of lucky sushi (in silence), while facing in the `lucky` direction. The lucky direction changes each year, so you have to be sure to check in advance. This year, you should face north-north-west. 

Here is a diagram showing the lucky sushi and the 7 auspicious ingredients, for the seven gods of good luck: sliced shiitake mushroom simmered in sweetened soy sauce, kanpyo (dried gourd strips), chopped grilled anago eel, sliced takuan tsukemono (pickle), shrimp, cucumber and atsuyaki-tamago (thick egg omelet) strip.

Setsubun is supposed to mark the end of winter, but I don't think that is the case this year!! Temperatures are dropping day by day and we had our first real snowfall in Osaka yesterday!

Today is Aiden`s first Setsubun so I`ll try to get some nice pics.


  1. very nice festival i like it .... I started learning japanese ....
    oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi....
    How we will wish to some one else during this festival....?

  2. Sounds perfect without the eel.
    I'm avoiding all fishy things since Fukushima.


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