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The coming of early spring in Japan – Setubun –2014.02.06

The original Japanese meaning of “Setu-bun” is the parting of seasons, or the last day of each four seasons. It is especially destinated the last day of winter in the traditional Japanese Calendar. It’s February 3rd now.

The coming of early spring in Japan  – Setubun –Photo by cytech
The coming of early spring in Japan  – Setubun –Photo by 305 Seahill

People in Japan have been celebrating the day with accompanying by a bean scattering ceremony called Mame-maki. “Mame” means a bean in Japanese, and “Maki” does scattering. Members of a Japanese family throw roasted soybeans at a demon, or Oni in Japanese, in order to sending it away from their home.
In addition, many Shinto shrines and Buddist temples have held their own Mame-maki ceremonies as a festival for inviting good luck, because no demon lives in any shrines and temples.
Most famous Mame-maki festival sites in Japan are following;
Sensou-ji Temple (Asakusa, Tokyo)
Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple (Narita city, Chiba pref.); nearby Narita Int’l Airport
Yasaka Jinja Shrine (Higashiyama, Kyoto)

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