Our friend, Miki, invited Dina and me to go with her to the Seto Shrine to experience Setsubun. The Seto Shrine is located near the Kawazana-Hakkei train station (only two stops from our normal station, Jimmuji). Dina and I both forgot our temple books… therefore, we will obviously need to return.

Setsubun is Japan’s bean-throwing ritual that occurs on the lunar calendar’s last day before spring (February 3). The bean-throwing event is called mame maki. The celebration is a means to cleanse the past and bring good fortune for the new year. During the event, roasted soy beans nicknamed fortune beans are thrown from elevated stages while shouting, “Devil out!” “Good fortune in!” As attendees, our goal was to try and catch bags of beans. Once catch, you must eat your age +1.

At this shrine, they throw beans every 15 minutes or so starting at 3pm. We were just arriving so we were towards the back for the first round.

I have to take a minute and give props to our friend Miki. She brought two very tall Americans to this event. Unfortunately, we didn’t have quite the catching skills she was hoping for. Simultaneously, I know we stood out. And she had no problem being there with us. I truly appreciate her friendship.

And here we all are together.

She also wanted to make sure I took a picture of the front of the temple.

And she took one of us!

I did eat my 42 dried seasonless soybeans and Dina ate her respective amount. Miki told us she doesn’t like them and saved them for her husband to eat with a Chu-Hai. Haha! Regardless, I’m hoping for a year with the “devil out” and “good fortune in!”

PS. In English class today, I peeled my tangerine like a local!