Many traditional celebrations in Japan are related to warding off bad luck and bad spirits, repelling illness and generally cleansing away negativity. That’s the case of today’s “bean throwing” ritual, Mamemaki, that takes place on Setsubun, the day before the beginning of spring, ever since the Muromachi Period.
The ritual goes like this: the head of the house, usually the father or the grandfather, is throwing fukumame, fried soybeans (which are considered lucky) towards someone wearing an oni (demon) mask. The rest of the family is joyfully chanting Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi! ("Demons out! Luck in!").
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: