We did our mamemaki soybean throwing to shoo away the demons and welcome fortune into our London home on Thursday for Setsubun, the Japanese celebration to mark the first day of spring. Per tradition the oldest male played the oni demon, and we threw beans at him, yelling,
Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!
Demons out! Fortune in!
So far we’ve fallen off the bandwagon a couple of times but those may have been the year we didn’t do bean-throwing. We have generally been blessed, and hope everyone gets a chance to cast away demons and invite in good fortune this February. (Mamemaki hack: Peanuts are a good substitute for soybeans.) It may still be freezing in many corners of the earth but spring is really around the corner. Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!