Setsubun is a Japanese calendar day which celebrates the end of winter and start of spring.It is an old Japanese tradition that involves throwing beans at demons to ward off evil spirits. Takase sensei adds this free Japanese learning blog to help you to learn Japanese for free with video to listen to the Japanese language and a vocabulary list and Kanji readings to improve your Japanese reading.

Setsubun-The bean-throwing ceremony


By TAKASE Chiharu


もうすぐ節分ですね。節分とはもともと季節の変わり目を意味するのですが、今では立春の前日 のことを指し、今年は2月3日です。

みなさんは節分の豆まきをご存知ですか。日本に昔からある行事で、に豆をぶつけて邪気をはらい、無病息災を願います。私が小さいころはスーパーで豆まきセットを買ってきて、家族みんなが順番に鬼のをかぶり「鬼は外、福は内」と掛け声 をかけながら豆をまきました。でも最後には年の近い弟と豆の投げあいになり、家中豆だらけになっていたことを思い出します。

神社の節分祭でも豆まきが行われるので、今年は雪が降らなければ、節分祭に行ってみようかなと思っています。みなさんも近所の神社の豆まきに行ってみてはいかがですか。近くに神社がない方は去年の節分祭の怖い鬼の映像をどうぞ。節分の雰囲気が 少しでも伝われば、と思います。


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もうすぐ節分(せつぶん)で すね。節分(せつぶん)とはもともと季節(きせつ)の変(か)わり目(め)を意味 (いみ)するのですが、今(いま)では立春(りっしゅん)の前日(ぜんじつ)のことを指(さ) し、今年(ことし)は2月(がつ)3日(みっか)です。

みなさんは節分(せつぶん)の豆 (まめ)まきをご存知(ぞんじ)ですか。日本(に ほん)に昔(むかし)からある行事(ぎょうじ)で、鬼 (おに)に豆(まめ)をぶつけて邪気(じゃき)をはらい、無病息災(むびょうそくさい)を 願(ねが)います。私(わたし)が小(ちい)さいころはスーパーで豆(まめ)まき セットを買(か)ってきて、家族(かぞく)みんなが順番(じゅんばん)に鬼(お に)の面(めん)を かぶり「鬼(おに)は外(そと)、福(ふく)は内(うち)」と掛(か)け声(ご え)をかけながら豆(まめ)をまきました。でも最後(さいご)には年(とし)の近 (ちか)い弟(おとうと)と豆(まめ)の投(な)げあいになり、家中(いえじゅ う)豆(まめ)だらけになっていたことを思(おも)い出(だ)します。

神社(じんじゃ)の節分祭(せつぶんさい)でも豆(まめ)まきが行(おこな)われ るので、今年(ことし)は雪(ゆき)が降(ふ)らなければ、節分祭(せつぶんさ い)に行(い)ってみようかなと思(おも)っています。みなさんも近所(きん じょ)の神社(じんじゃ)の豆(まめ)まきに行(い)ってみてはいかがですか。近 (ちか)くに神社(じんじゃ)がない方(かた)は去年(きょねん)の節分祭(せつ ぶんさい)の怖(こわ)い鬼(おに)の映像(えいぞう)をどうぞ。節分(せつぶ ん)の雰囲気(ふんいき)が少(すこ)しでも伝(つた)われば、と思(おも)いま す。

Setsubun-The bean-throwing ceremony

Its almost 'Setsubun', isn't it ? 'Setsubun' originally meant the time when the seasons changed, but it now stands for the day before 'Risshun' (the first day of spring), which on this year falls on February 3rd.

Have you heard of the bean throwing ceremony of 'Setsubun' ? It is a ceremony going back to ancient times in Japan. Beans are tossed at demons to ward off evil spirits and to pray for good health. When I was a child, we used to buy sets of beans from the supermarket and the members of our family would take turns to wear a demon mask and we would all yell out “ Demons be gone out ! Good luck come in!” while scattering the beans. I remember that at the end, my younger brother, who is close to my age, and I would have bean throwing contests and the house interior would become covered with beans.

There are also bean throwing ceremonies held at shrines too and this year, if its not snowing on the day, I think I'd like to go and watch. Why don't you go and attend the bean-throwing ceremony at your neighborhood shrine. For those of you without a shrine nearby, please go ahead and watch this video of the scary demons from last year's Setsubun festival. I hope it can help to communicate the mood of Setsubun even just a little.

(1) last day of winter in the traditional Japanese calendar (usually February 3 or 4); holiday for end of winter (accompanied by a bean scattering ceremony); (2) (original meaning) last day of any season (according to the traditional Japanese calendar)

立春(りっしゅん)first day of spring (according to the traditional lunisolar calendar, approx. Feb. 4)

豆(まめ)まき scattering parched beans (to drive out evil spirits)

鬼(おに)ogre; demon

邪気(じゃき)maliciousness; ill will

無病息災(むびょうそくさい)sound health


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