Today, February 3rd is Setsubun, which literally means a devision of seasons. Especially setsubun refers to the division between winter and spring and people celebrate the beginning of spring on its eve. So, setsubun is the day before the beginning of spring.
Mamemaki, or bean-throwing ceremony is performed at home, temples, kindergartens or nursery homes, etc. At the bean-throwing ceremony, the thrower has to say aloud, "Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi.(Evil is out, happiness inside!)" This ceremony is done to drive bad things away from your home, so during bean-throwing, windows or doors are opened. If you have small children, the practice may be fun, but for only adult-households or people who live alone, it is a little embarrassing. At least for me and for my husband.
We are reluctant to practice bean-throwing but I want to do something on setsubun. So, we celebrate setsubun with another adequate practice, which originates in Kansai region. It is called Eho-maki, or makizushi eating ceremony. "Eho" is a good direction of the year and "maki" means a makizushi, a sushi roll. Usually makizushi is served after being cut in pieces, but at this makizushi-eating ceremony, the sushi roll will be served without being cut. You are supposed to eat a sushi roll without a word while facing the lucky direction of the year.
Eho-maki satisfies the need of people like me and now it is wide-spread nationwide. For people those who suffer from deciding the menu of the day, it is a salvation from the chronic trouble.
Akiko lives in a city next to Hakodate and loves to drive around Hakodate and surrounding area. I hope people who visit or live in the Southwest area of Hokkaido come to love the area, too. 函館の隣町在住で道南エリアのドライブ大好きAkikoです。道南を訪れたり、住んでいる人が土地を好きになってくれたらなぁ、と思います。