Setsubun

As I mentioned in my New Years post, I went back to school. So far it has been great: Class is a challenge, but not too hard. Homework is enjoyable. I’m meeting funny new people, and they’re Korean and we’re forced to talk to each other in Japanese. I’m loving it.

They like Stevie Wonder and I like grilled meat, so we have a mutual respect for one another. We can’t say much, but friendship is more than words. Friendship is also teaming up against your teachers to pelt them with beans.

Friday was Setsubun 節分 in Japan, and being a student means I get to experience all holidays with the enthusiasm (and comprehension) of a 5 year old. Setsubun is the welcoming of Spring and the casting out of all things bad. According to tradition, you can keep the demons out of your house by throwing roasted soybeans at them out the door while singing おにはそと!ふくはうち!“Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!”

♫  Get out you bad things! Welcome in, good luck!  ♫

Another Setsubun tradition is to eat a giant makizushi roll while facing the year’s lucky direction. A compass is printed on the packaging to help you out.

We did our part, throwing beans and eating our lucky makizushi. Good thing, because I’ll need that luck for my test on Monday.