03 February 2014

Setsubun 2014

Love this setsubun pic
Setsubun marks the beginning of Spring here in Japan! It was quite warm today, but the forecast for tomorrow is snow... so we'll see what happens! Maybe Aila can see snow for the first time!

During setsubun, The Japanese eat eho maki, which is a big fat uncut roll of sushi! I like the sushi place at our station so we got ours from there this year. The most expensive one I got was 990 yen (about $12 NZD) and the cheapest was 490 yen (about $6 NZD). The more expensive ones had the good stuff in it like fish eggs, raw tuna and salmon! Yum! The tradition is to eat a WHOLE sushi roll by your self with out talking and facing in the lucky direction. It's not as easy as it seems! These things are big! The direction changes every year and I think this years was East North-East... But because Reia is still young and because I wanted to try all the flavours of sushi, we cut up the rolls instead and just ate them all together instead. It was sooo filling! We ate it with some miso soup :)

L-R: Special seafood, seafood, tuna mayo, crab and egg salad. Even though it was the cheapest, the tuna mayo roll was probably my fav.
Posing with an Oni outside 7-Eleven
L-R: Special seafood, mixed salad, seafood. The only main difference between the special seafood and seafood sushi rolls were the orangey fish eggs or ikura. I actually didn't know which ones I was buying at the time as I can't read kanji and was in a rush to get home and feed Aila! So I didn't take the time to check what was inside lol. But these ended up being the lucky 3!
The other thing to do besides eating sushi is mamemaki This is basically where the Dad dresses up as an Oni (kind of like a Japanese ogre) and scares the little kids lol. The kids then throw soy beans at him and tell him to get out! Or "Oni wa soto!" Followed by a "Fuku wa uchi!" which means blessings come in! It is a ritual to cleanse away the evil of last year and start fresh type thing. Jun called me to say that he was at the station and to leave the Oni mask outside the front door so he could come in as the oni. The following photos tell the story better than I can...

Reia screamed for me and ran behind me! She tried throwing the soy beans, but this Oni was particularly strong! He kept on advancing which made Reia even more frightened hehehe. I can't help but giggle at some of the moments we have as parents and the things we put our kids through. Reia's screams set Aila off and pretty soon they were both wailing away with soy beans scattered all over the place and a raging Oni still lurking in the house. After Jun took off his mask, he gave Reia a big hug to calm her down which worked. He put the mask back on and she had a bit more courage to kick him out of the house this time.

And that was this year's setsubun! A first for Aila who did not enjoy it at all! She went straight to bed after that lol. Maybe next year she might be more interested :)

1 comment:

  1. I'm an European woman living in Japan. Found your blog and really enjoyed reading. But what I see here is unacceptable. Saw earlier you're a really good mother, therefore I can't understand why you agree for such a cruel tradition. Poor children... This my visit on your blog is the last.