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Evil Spirits Out, Good Fortune In at Innovative!

Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment!

Hi all, Motoko here!

Today I’d like to tell you about the Mamemaki (“bean-throwing”) event we held on Setsubun. Setsubun falls on March 3rd. On the Japanese traditional calendar, the day after Setsubun (March 4th) is the beginning of spring.

However, it’s still cold in the modern calendar!

According to the traditional calendar, Setsubun falls on the day between winter and spring. On that day, people hold a ceremony to throw beans – usually roasted soybeans – at their homes.

In ancient times, people believed that oni, a kind of evil spirit, would come to their house between the two seasons. To drive the oni out of their houses, they would throw beans.

These days, a person plays the role of oni in these ceremonies, and people throw beans at them. In the Innovative office, one of our male team members played oni (see photo), and the other staff threw beans at him, and wished for good luck for the company this year.

After throwing them, people collect and eat the beans. It is believed that eating them brings good health in the year that follows. People traditionally eat, or should eat, as many beans as their age. For example, a 20-year-old person eats 20 beans, and a 30-year-old person eats 30 beans. So if you are 40 or 50 years old, it must be tough to accomplish this feat! In reality, people usually just eat as many as they want; it can be more or less than their actual age.
(2013 Feb.)

イノベーティブの鬼をおいだせ!

こんにちは。もとこです。イノベーティブではみんなで「節分(せつぶん)」のまめまきをしました。節分は2月3日です。日本の古いカレンダーでは、節分の次の日(2月4日)から春になります。でもまださむいです。

その冬と春の間の日が「節分」です。節分には豆(まめ:やいた大豆)を家にまきます。昔の日本人は季節(きせつ)と季節の間に「鬼(おに)」がうちに来ると思っていました。鬼はわるいものですから、豆をまいて鬼を家(いえ)のそとにだしました。
 
今では、一人が鬼になって、ほかの人がまめをまきます。今年のイノベーティブでは男性社員(だんせい しゃいん)が鬼になりました。
みんなでまめをまいて、会社の今年のしあわせをいのります。
 
また、まめをまいたあとはまめをたべます。今年も元気でいることができます。本当(ほんとう)は豆を自分の年(とし)の数(かず)たべます。20歳の人は20粒(つぶ)、30歳の人は30粒たべます。40歳や50歳の人はたいへんですね。

(2013年2月)

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