Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dividing the Season

Setstubun is held in early February (2/3/10). This is a retrospective post.

I first learned about Setsubun from Nami-san, back in good ol’ McTyeire. It must have been one of our study breaks; I just remember being overjoyed that all we had to do was throw soybeans and yell “Oni wa soto!” (Demons get out!) and that didn’t take too long, and I could get back to my homework mountain.

Cool things about Setsubun:

  • It literally means dividing the season, and comes at the midpoint of winter (halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox). Which should mean that from that point on, it starts to get warmer gradually, as well at that the days are on their way to overtaking the night.
  • It’s actually based on the same idea as Groundhog Day. Now all that stuff about six more weeks of winter makes sense. I love how learning a new language informs your knowledge of your own.
  • You get special demon-repelling soybeans in your lunch.

    For eating, or throwing!

  • There’s a festival at the local shrines. Big Brother, MiriJET, and I all went up to Ichi to check out what was going on at Iwa Jinja.

    • We saw lots of my students there.

      Middle-schoolers, who helped me navigate the shrine stuff..

      Elementary too. And, why, yes, I am eating a chocolate banana.

  • I drew a lot there, and it was ‘tatsu,’ which according to my student, called for early spring.
  • If you say “Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi,” you should get good luck to come into your house, and the demons to get out. Hopefully this holds for the whole year, and you don’t end up with mold or mukade come summer.

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