M7353 'Setsubun' Organic Heavy Weight T-shirt
Setsubun in Japanese translates to ‘bean throwing’ and is celebrated during the Spring. The ceremony includes men dressing up as devils and then participants will throw beans at them to try and chase them away. The purpose behind this is for those involved to turn over a new leaf, leading into the new season by chasing away the evil spirits that surround them that cause sickness and ill fortune.
This is a Mamemaki tradition in which a demon would show up and then people would throw beans at it saying ‘demon out, luck in’. It is said that this derives from the Chinese New Year tradition in which a man wearing a demon mask would appear and then people would shoot arrows at him.
The beans used in this celebration are roasted soy-beans, known as Fuku (fortune beans). On the day they are thrown out of the front doors of homes to ward of the spirits and sometimes thrown at a designated older male of the family who sports a demon mask to play the antagonist.
Once the demon has been banished out of the house (after the chaotic bean throwing) the door is slammed in a ‘get out and stay out’ fashion, bringing an end to the ritual.
This festival is particularly successful with young children due to the playful nature of the event. Although the festival is not seen as a public holiday, many participate by heading to their local Buddhist temple to pick up some beans, throw them and then pray at the shrines for good health and fortune.