February 2, 2007

Setsubun / 節分

Study, study, study. Yet again, not much to report, other than that we had a test this week and I scored 95% on the written portion (yay me) but only about 60% on the listening...I was well aware that my listening comprehension sucked a camel's ass in hoisin sauce, but damn...

Tomorrow is setsubun, the end of the old season and the start of the new. It is traditionally believed that this is the day on which all the bad spirits that have congregated in your home can be expelled by...throwing beans at them. Oh, and shouting "Demons out! Fortune in!" while doing so (obviously I'm paraphrasing greatly, but that's the gist). Or, at least according to Wikipedia, if you live in Aizu you can shout "Demon eyeballs, smash-smash!". Apparently it is also traditional to eat the same number of the irimame beans (which are roasted and not unlike peanuts, quite nice really) as years you have lived, but I can't say I entirely understand why.

Also, Japanese households symbolize this exorcism-for-all-the-family by having an unfortunate family member put on a demon mask (the more I think about this, the more it reminds me of Hallowe'en), and run around growling and generally spreading bad karma. This demon is then chased from the homestead by being pelted with beans. Surely this must give rise to all sorts of bean-related injuries every year, but who am I to argue with tradition.

As a footnote, the friend I mentioned in the previous post who applied to NHK wound up getting the job, and will later this month move to Toyama prefecture to become a full-fledged local newsreader, on TV and everything, so very well done to her. Ah, it's good to cultivate these showbiz connections...


an observer February 03, 2007 9:35 AM  

Nice job with the writing exam, man!

harriot February 12, 2007 12:38 PM  

andy san.it's Yan
how's it going?
FEB 2is my birthday^_^!!

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