Saturday, February 26, 2011


okay, so I have been really busy recently, and haven't blogged in FOREVER. But I'm doing something different this time, I'm actually going to catch up! I have 8 things to blog about (we have done a lot recently) and I will do quite a few of them in video blogs to save myself some time.

Anyway, this blog is about the holiday Setsubun, which takes place on February 3 (yeah, I'm really late...)
Sooo, setsubun is to celebrate the old/Chinese new year. The whole idea of setsubun in Japan is about keeping out demons, and bringing in fortune.
We were told that Masumida shrine is known to have a large celebration for setsubun. so after english, since Candace and I have a free period then, we decided to ride our bikes down to the shrine to check it out. We were beyond confused. As we got there, there was a very large herd of people leaving the shrine, so we thought it was over, but we went on ahead and went in anyways.
There was a large raised platform in the middle in front of the shrine, and still more people crowded around it. We saw Iida Guuji up on the platform, as well as our Aikido teacher, another guy from our Aikido class, and a bunch of priests. After waiting for a while, someone said something over the speaker, and everyone started to crowd toward the raised platform. Eventually, the people on the platform started to throw little paper bags (presumably filled with beans) at the crowd. Candace and I sort of wanted to catch one, but were way too frightened of the intensity some of these people were putting into their bean catching. Most of the attendants were well beyond 40, and we were easily the youngest people there, excluding the very young children. Even so, these people went crazy to get the beans. Some people were holding up bags for more effective bean catching. When we were leaving, we saw an old lady carrying a giant bag of caught beans on her back. During the bean catching, Candace and I were standing in the back (we were a little scared to try to work our way through the crowd) so if any packs of beans managed to get back to us, the people around us were quick to spring into catching action. There was one pack that came and sort of hit my arm, and then went to the ground, but before I could even start to go for it, there were 5 people on the ground trying to get it. Needless to say, we left beanless.
That night, I was told to eat 18 beans. 17 for each year I've been living, and an extra one. My host mom had to eat 63? I think? and she said it hurt her stomach. And then we went around to every entrance to the house to throw beans. throw beans once outside and say "oni wa soto" throw beans outside again and say "oni wa soto" throw beans inside and say "fuku wa uchi" and then quickly close the door, so as not to let the oni in. "oni wa soto" is demons out. "fuku wa uchi" is fortune in.
Also, my friends told me the next day that their families told them that the tradition was to not speak during dinner. I was not told of this tradition, but it was definitely silent at my dinner table. I was also told that they all ate rolls of sushi, like the roll before it's cut, so it's big and cylindrical, facing southeast (I think? maybe it was northeast?). anyway, I saw that my host parents had two of those rolls, but I didn't see them eat them. I couldn't eat them, because of the fishy/eggy content, probably.


Post a Comment