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Ehou maki

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Japanese roll sushi

There are many types of sushi in Japan. But in the United States and around the world, the most common type you can find is the sushi roll. This is usually composed of colorful ingredients and wrapped in Nori seaweed.

One type of sushi roll is popular in Japan during the month of February. Below Igarashi sensei gives us a brief introduction to this new custom that has been sweeping the country over the past 20 years or so.

Learn some Japanese with this free language learner's blog and read the vocabulary list to study some Japanese words and listen to the video to hear natural and fluent spoken Japanese.

Ehou maki




2月3日は節分の日です。「節分」 という言葉には「季節の分かれ目」という意味があり、この日は春の始まりを表します。いい一年になるようにとの願いをこめて、鬼のお面をかぶった人に豆を投げるのが日本の風習でしたが、最近はそれにもう一つの風習が定着しつつあります。



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Ehou maki

February 3rd is Setsubun day. The word Setsubun means the turning point of the seasons, and this day marks the start of Spring. There is a Japanese custom of throwing beans at a person wearing a demon mask in order to pray for a good year, but recently another custom has become established on top of this.

This is the practice of eating a sushi roll as it is without cutting it. You face the direction of good luck that has been decided for that year, and in your heart you say a prayer while eating the sushi roll silently. The custom started in Osaka around 1930, and is also known as “Maki maru kaburi” among other names, but in 1998 it spread around the whole country after Seven Eleven stores started to sell roll sushi under the name of “Ehou Maki”.

“Ehou” means the right direction of good luck and this year the direction will be North by Northwest. When facing the same direction and eating something silently with family and friends you tend to burst out laughing or start speaking , so it's unexpectedly difficult. Please give this a try.

分(わ)かれ目(め) turning point

お面(めん) mask

風習(ふうしゅう)  habit; practice; custom

定着(ていちゃく)  take [strike] root, fix, become established

縁起(えんぎ) luck

方角(ほうがく)  direction, way

無言(むごん)  silent, without speaking

意外(いがい)と surprisingly, unexpectedly


Hajimemashite, everyone . My name is Maki Igarashi.
Although I'm originally from Hokkaido, I live in Hiroshima because of my husband's work transfer. Hokkaido is the northernmost island of Japan. Winter is very cold and snowy, but Hokkaido's natural scenery is very beautiful, and we have a lot of delicious food. Here in Hiroshima, on Miya-jima Island, you can see Itsukushima Shrine, a world cultural heritage site. If you come to Japan, please visit these great places.

I'd like to see you smile at least once in every class. The lessons will be, well, fun! Prepare well, and review well! :o)
Don't get caught up thinking Japanese is a difficult language, enjoy studying and learning !

Try to use your newly learned vocabulary and phrases all the time in the lessons. Looking forward to meeting you all in class !

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