Setsubun


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eikin

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Setsubun means the separation of season, and occurs on the day before the change of
each season. In Japan, it's popularly referred to as the day before the beginning of spring,
as it is considered the most important of the seasonal changes. This year it occurs on
today, 3rd February.

In modern day Japan, people celebrate setsubun by going to the temples and shrines to
make prayers for the new year. (new year prayers are made on Oshogatsu お正月, or 1st
January as well) A special ceremony, Mamemaki 豆撒き, 'throwing of beans' is also conducted
as a gesture to get rid of bad luck and receive good fortune. Temples and shrines nowadays
like to invite celebrities (drama actors and actresses, singers, sumo wrestlers etc.) to
conduct Mamemaki as they draw large crowds to participate in the celebrations.

The following are photographed at a shrine near where I stay.



Setsubun
節分

at

Okunitama Shrine
大国魂神社


Lanterns bearing the names of sponsors for the shrine's Setsubun celebration.
A common practice in Japan, such lantern stands are set up along the main path
leading to the shrine during special celebrations.





A celebration will never be complete without outdoor bazaars
filled with stalls selling Japanese snacks.

 

eikin

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selection of snacks ...

Okonomiyaki お好み焼き
literally translates to 'my favourite fried food'





traditional egg puffs







steamy butter potatoes





fried soba noodles 焼きそば

 

eikin

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brownrice-flour buns 玄米まん fresh from the stove







banana chocolate バナナちょう





 

eikin

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festive decorations and craft stalls ...

home altars and accessories





fortune cats





dharma dolls 達磨大師



 

eikin

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finally getting through into the shrine at the end of the bazaar ...





the crowd gathers in anticipation





something funny's happening at the mainhall ...





people are getting excited

 

eikin

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Mask Riders are here!





仮面ライダー電王 Mask Rider Thunder King





仮面ライダーガタック Mask Rider Gatakku





仮面ライダーカブト Mask Rider Kabuto

 

eikin

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the head priest emerged from the mainhall and perform a ceremonial stance





other celebrities emerged after ...

4 female television personalities, from left Rei Yoshi 吉井 怜, Yoko Mitsuya 三津谷 葉子, Iona Mihara 三原 伊織奈 and Meguni Fukushita 福下 恵美







everyone's excited with being able to see the stars





others include officials of Fuchu City and the Sumo Federation

 

eikin

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and the Mamemaki ceremony begins! the crowd tries to catch the beans and peanuts as the priest and celebrities toss them into the air ...









and winners of Miss Fuchu pageant joined in the fun ...




 

eikin

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after the ceremony, the traditional performance of Kagura 神楽 takes place at the stage pavilion
Kagura is a Shinto dance performed in shrines during Shinto ceremonies. Stories are based on
Shinto myths and legends, and are not easily understood and appreciated by many ... neither do I! :sweat:







 

tofie

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your photos are so nice until I am feeling hungry.... ;p
 

ReiszRie

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which shrine is that?

its in fuchu, tokyo-ken or fuchu, hiroshima-ken? ^^
 

ReiszRie

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ahh, looks like fun!

unfortunately, i'm only able to choose to participate in either hatsumode or setsubun during my next trip to Japan. =(
 

eikin

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your photos are so nice until I am feeling hungry.... ;p
thanks tofie :)



which shrine is that?

its in fuchu, tokyo-ken or fuchu, hiroshima-ken? ^^
as stated it's Okunitama Shrine 大国魂神社

it's in Tokyo City (Tokyo is not a prefecture), Fuchu-shi (or Fuchu City)



ahh, looks like fun!

unfortunately, i'm only able to choose to participate in either hatsumode or setsubun during my next trip to Japan. =(
yah the kids were going crazy over the appearance of the Mask Riders :sweat:

i didn't attend Hatsumode as well, wasn't in Japan then.
 

ZeroDivine

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I did drop by this thread earlier but didn't see the Kamen Rider pics of urs.. being a big fan of Kabuto(the series just ended 2 weeks ago) how could I not leave a comment :p
Excellent coverage once again :)
 

ReiszRie

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i liked shot #1 !!

always liked those japanese paper lanterns
 

microcosm

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Sep 17, 2006
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Thanks for sharing this my friend. It is really nice to see the everyday life of people from a different culture from the eyes of a photojournalist. You captured many of the moments so well, that it really speaks for itself.

The Mask Riders were hilarious! Did you know that they were appearing in the first place?

The food... oh... the food!! I am feeling hungry at the moment and your pictures made my tummy rumble!!! Arrgghh..>!!!!!!!<

Great pics my friend. But I am wondering about the vignetting in the first few wide angle images. Were they intentional?
 

eikin

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i liked shot #1 !!

always liked those japanese paper lanterns
thanks ReiszRie :)

those are called Ch&#333;-chin in Japanese (&#25552;&#28783;)

according to my teacher, they used to be called T&#333;-r&#333; (&#28783;&#31725;) same written words as Chinese, but that term is now more used for lanterns used during ancestral worship.
 

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