Monthly Archives: February 2009

Setsubun(Bean Throwing)

On February 3rd, Setsubun Day, Japanese people throw roasted beans in and around their houses to keep away evil, death, and bad luck. They are mostly kids, flinging beans at imaginary demons in their houses, saying “Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi!”, which literally means “out with the demons and in with fortune!” Lévi-Strauss would say something about the beans as an anthropological metaphor of myth. You can get a bag of beans with a paper-made demon mask at your local supermarket this week. Fathers play the role of the demon reluctantly on that night. Don’t throw a beanball to your dad!