February 3rd [Setsubun]
[Setsubun], as its name suggests, refers to the day that separates the end and beginning of a season .
The day before the first day of spring (February 4th) is famous, but there are seasonal turning points in each season, so ``Setsubun'' originally comes four times a year.
◆ Four Setsubun
The first day of spring, the first day of summer, the first day of autumn, and the first day of winter.
Collectively, they are called `` Shiryu,' ' and they are set as seasonal milestones on the day before each season begins .
▼Click here for information on “Shiryu”
--- What is [Setsubun custom]?
Since ancient times, it has been believed that ``at the turn of the seasons, there are great changes, and evil spirits (demigods) arise, causing disease and disaster to the people.'' The day of the 24 solar terms, the first day of spring , was established as the ``beginning of spring and the beginning of the season,'' and has been celebrated as the ``beginning of the year.'' As you can see from that, just like the current New Year's Eve. The custom of Setsubun is said to have originated on the day before the New Year to ward off evil spirits.
Annual events such as Shitachi and Nishi Nibun were held at the change of seasons, but now only the day before Risshun remains as Setsubun, marking the change of seasons. The custom of throwing beans and eating ehomaki and sardines as an event to pray for good health remains.
Even now, the custom is held at shrines and other places every season as a custom according to the calendar, and it is still considered auspicious to be able to safely reach the fourth anniversary.
Introducing [Setsubun customs]!
1. Bean Throwing - Throwing beans at demons to ward off evil spirits
Throwing beans while saying, ``Demons are outside, good fortune is inside'' to drive away evil spirits.
Rice and soybeans are the same energy source, and it was believed that by sowing the beans, which were said to have spiritual power, one could ward off illness and misfortune, and by eating the beans, one could gain strength.
・The soybeans used are soybeans that have been roasted over a fire and are called `` fukumame .''
・It is said that demons come at midnight (Ushitora no Toki) , so bean-throwing is done at night .
◆About <How to sow beans>
If cleaning is difficult ,
① Sprinkle in small packs or whole peanuts
② Seal any gaps in the furniture where beans can get in beforehand.
③ This includes limiting the number of rooms for bean-throwing .
[How to sow beans]
① Open the entrance, window, doorway, etc. where the demon will exit .
② Starting from the back room, everyone throws beans in order to drive out the demons while shouting, “Let the demons go outside!”
③Once you have finished sowing, lock the door immediately to keep out the demons and prevent your fortune from escaping.
◆Let's get to know demons!
Speaking of Setsubun, it is ``Oni'', but did you know that there are 5 types of Oni ?
The name ``Five-Colored Demon'' comes from the teaching of ``worldly desires'' in Buddhism, or ``Gogai,'' which states, ``To live a peaceful life, remove the five earthly desires that cover your heart.'' Masu.
Red demon : desire, greed
Blue demon : malice, hatred, anger
Midoriki : Unmotivated, lazy, sleepy, unable to stop unhealthy lifestyle habits
Black demon : doubts, complaints, contradictory thoughts, words, and deeds
Yellow Demon : (White Demon): A carefree heart, delusion, regret, spoiledness, and self-centered conceit.
Which demon will you exorcise?
It is said that by eating one more bean than your age, you will pray for good health and happiness for the year, as well as ridding your body of evil spirits. It's fine if the number of children is enough, but it's a little difficult for adults to eat as many fukumame as their age. In such cases, fukucha is recommended.
To make fukucha, put as many fukumame as the number of years old into a hot water cup and pour hot water over them. Even if you put it in a teapot with tea leaves, you can enjoy the fragrant aroma.
Using fukumame (fukumame), which is made from roasted soybeans, increases the aroma and creates a highly fragrant tea.
You can also add plums and kelp to fukucha to make it delicious.
The lucky direction of 2024 is towards “East-Northeast”!
Eho refers to the direction where Toshigami is.
Toshigami is also called Tokutokujin, and is the god who controls the good fortune (luck with money and happiness) of the year. It is widely known as the god that invites people to their homes during the New Year.
The location of Saitokujin changes every year, and the lucky direction changes each time. In the past, it was used not only when eating Setsubun ehomaki, but also when visiting shrines in the eho direction for New Year's visits, and when starting new things as a direction to attract good luck . Just as New Year's customs are centered around the god of the year, eho were cherished by people and were considered very close to their hearts.
◆How is the eho determined? ◆
Eho is expressed in a system called ``Nijushiho'' (24 directions) , using ``direction and 10 directions''. The 24 directions are also used in calendars and feng shui, and are used for a variety of purposes, including representing time and direction.
◆Four lucky ways◆
There are basically only four lucky directions .
Direction of the instep = slightly east-northeast, direction of Donggen = slightly west-southwest, direction of west hei = slightly south-southeast, direction of Nanjin = slightly north-northwest
It is stipulated that
Why are the four prescribed lucky directions half-hearted?
Normally, in our daily lives, directions are often expressed in 4 directions (north, south, east, west), 8 directions, 16 directions, 32 directions, etc., and it is said that the notation is ambiguous because it is not expressed in 24 directions.
◆What is Juboshi? ◆
These are the 10 qualities and elements : A, Otsu, Hei, Ding, 戊, Self, Gen, Spicy, Jin, and 癸.
Together with the zodiac signs, these are called the 12 zodiac signs , and collectively they are called the zodiac signs. In addition, the twelve signs of the zodiac, which are assigned to the 24 directions, are often used in calendars and feng shui, and are used to represent time and direction.
Each Juboshi is assigned a number, and is determined by the last digit of the Western calendar.
Looking at the table above, it seems that there are many ``south-southeast'' directions, but the same lucky direction does not continue two years in a row, and the lucky direction goes around the four directions every five years .
Ehomaki is a type of sushi roll that is eaten on Setsubun, facing the eho direction, which is said to be the good direction for the year.
It is said that it is a good idea to eat it whole, without cutting it with a knife, so as not to cut it with a knife and avoid losing your fortune or fortune. It is said that eating without saying a word is to prevent good fortune from escaping from your mouth.
◆“God of Fortune” and ingredients◆
Ehomaki is generally made with seven different ingredients.
This name comes from the Seven Lucky Gods , which are said to bring good luck .
Ebisu-sama → Cucumber Ebisu- sama of prosperous business, which leads to “gaining nine benefits”
Daikoku-sama's yellow egg is a symbol of increased financial luck.
Bishamonten → Koya Tofu <br data-mce-fragment="1"> Bishamonten, who has the power to ward off evil spirits from soybeans, the raw material for Koya tofu
Benzaiten → Kanpyo <br data-mce-fragment="1">In the Edo period, it was considered elegant for the upper class, and its ingredients are said to be good for beauty, so Benzaiten is the only female.
Fukurokuju → Conger eel <br data-mce-fragment="1">The long-bodied conger eel symbolizes "perpetuity" and is a symbol of happiness that leads to a long and healthy life.Fukurokuju
Jurojin → Oboro, Shrimp <br data-mce-fragment="1">The bent shape of the shrimp contained in the raw material of Oboro gives the image of an old man living a long life, and Jurojin is a symbol of longevity.
Hotei Takashi → Herring roe, boiled shiitake mushrooms <br data-mce-fragment="1">A lucky charm to pray for children and prosperity of descendants. Boiled Shiitake is filled with wishes for energy and good health, and is said by Hotei Takashi to bring a smile and happiness.
Since ancient times, Ehomaki has generally been made with ingredients that have been said to bring good luck, but these days, there are a variety of other types of Ehomaki besides the 7 kinds of rolls.
There is no set rule for Ehomaki, so please enjoy Setsubun with your favorite Ehomaki at least once a year.
3. Hiiragi sardine
It is said that at seasonal turning points, disasters come through the gaps between the knots, and in order to prevent this from happening, there is a custom of displaying sardines at entrances and other places that connect the inside and outside as a talisman.
Hiiragi uses the pain of its thorns to drive away demons. It is said that the smell of sardine heads keeps demons away.
Also, the body of the sardine with its head removed is safe to eat. Since it emits a smell when baked, it is said to be a talisman against evil spirits.
However, there seems to be something to be said about this custom.
an old saying
“The head of the sardine is also a sign of faith.”
There is a word. This is said to be a proverb derived from "Hiiragi-sardine". Literally translated, it means, "Even the head of a sardine is a blessing to those who believe." In other words, it means that "anything has value to those who believe in it."
Many of the ``decorations'' that are displayed during Japanese celebrations and seasonal customs are beautifully arranged, so it may be that many people did not accept them within the Japanese aesthetic sensibility. That is why the phrase ``something of value to those who believe'' has become a proverb that expresses the mystery and strangeness of faith. It is often used sarcastically, so be careful when using it.
Spring has arrived on the calendar, but in our daily lives, it still feels like winter.
However, from now on, you will gradually feel the Ibuki of spring everywhere.
A milestone day is a time to take care of yourself and your family once again, and reevaluate your lifestyle. I feel that the Japanese way of life, where such things are set as days to do, is the wisdom of people accumulated from generation to generation.
We want to enjoy the warm culture unique to Japan to welcome spring in a pleasant manner, and feel the joy of the changing seasons again this year.