Thursday, February 4, 2010


Setsubun (Bean-Throwing Ceremony) is the day before the beginning of each season in Japan. The name literally means "seasonal division", but usually the term refers to the spring Setsubun celebrated yearly on February 3 as part of the Spring Festival.

The bean throwing (or in this case - peanut throwing) is usually performed by the toshiotoko of the household (i.e., the male who was born on the corresponding animal year on the Chinese zodiac), or me in this situation. I threw peanuts out the door of the classroom and at a co-worker wearing an Oni (demon) mask, while chanting "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" (translates to "Demons out! Luck in!") The peanuts symbolise the driving away of the evil spirits that bring misfortune and bad health with them. Then, as part of bringing luck in, it is customary to eat the peanuts, one for each year of one's life.

And here's how it went down....

Oh my.
Scrabbling for peanuts...literally.
Oh what a haul!
Little Miss S. did rather well for herself, didn't know she had it in her.
A parent gifted me these two origami boxes filled with candied and salted peanuts. She'd made the boxes herself and I was just blown away. How lovely of her. Didn't see this in Australia!


Amelia said...

Hi Adele, I'm Amelia. I love your blog, and that you're teaching abroad! I'm American and want to teach in Australia :D
Anyway, I'm really glad I found your site!

Tony said...

So I'm guessing that, unlike almost every Australian childcare and primary school, where the paranoia setting seems to be locked on 'extreme', your school isn't a 'nut free zone'?

Anonymous said...

The parents over there are so lovely. They were always giving us gifts. It is nice to be appreciated. The nut throwing...ahh That'll scare the demons!