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Archive for March, 2013

Evil Spirits Out, Good Fortune In at Innovative!

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment!

Hi all, Motoko here!

Today I’d like to tell you about the Mamemaki (“bean-throwing”) event we held on Setsubun. Setsubun falls on March 3rd. On the Japanese traditional calendar, the day after Setsubun (March 4th) is the beginning of spring.

However, it’s still cold in the modern calendar!

According to the traditional calendar, Setsubun falls on the day between winter and spring. On that day, people hold a ceremony to throw beans – usually roasted soybeans – at their homes.

In ancient times, people believed that oni, a kind of evil spirit, would come to their house between the two seasons. To drive the oni out of their houses, they would throw beans.

These days, a person plays the role of oni in these ceremonies, and people throw beans at them. In the Innovative office, one of our male team members played oni (see photo), and the other staff threw beans at him, and wished for good luck for the company this year.

After throwing them, people collect and eat the beans. It is believed that eating them brings good health in the year that follows. People traditionally eat, or should eat, as many beans as their age. For example, a 20-year-old person eats 20 beans, and a 30-year-old person eats 30 beans. So if you are 40 or 50 years old, it must be tough to accomplish this feat! In reality, people usually just eat as many as they want; it can be more or less than their actual age.

(2013 Feb.)

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Thursday, March 14th, 2013

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