‘Oni wa soto!’ Devils out!

Today, February third, is Setsubun, which literally means the dividing of the seasons day in Japan. This is the day before traditional “spring” begins on the Japanese lunar calendar. Now it’s a just a fun holiday for children at school and home the festivities were a male teacher or father wears an Oni (devil) mask, representing a demon, evil and bad luck, and everybody else throws roasted soybeans at the devil to drive out bad luck and evil shouting “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (“Out with the demons! In with good luck!”)
Let’s all fling parched soybeans at Tokyo’s foreign-devil hating Governor Shintaro Ishihara and shout….
“Oni wa soto. Fuku wa uchi.”

Full of beans, devil Gov. Ishihara celebrates Setsubun
Full of beans, devil Gov. Ishihara celebrates Setsubun

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I'm a pale, alien, quadruped who has worked for 25+ years at "Maybe-the-Largest Inc." in Tokyo.

One thought on “‘Oni wa soto!’ Devils out!”

  1. Hi,

    I was wondering if you would do me a very big favor. I’m looking for the Japanese translation of ‘Oni Wa Soto’ (out with the demons). Could you maybe tell me what it is?

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