NARITA, CHIBA PREF. – An annual bean-throwing event was held Monday at Naritasan Shinshoji, a major Buddhist temple in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, to mark setsubun, the day before the start of spring according to Japan’s ancient calendar.
On setsubun, people traditionally throw soybeans, chanting “oni wa soto” (“demons out”) and “fuku wa uchi” (“luck in”).
But at the Naritasan Shinshoji event, bean-throwers say only “fuku wa uchi” because the Fudo Myoo deity at the temple is believed to be able to eliminate the evil of demons.
Wearing colorful kamishimo traditional clothing and chanting “fuku wa uchi“ to pray for affluent lives and rich harvests, sportspeople and celebrities threw soybeans and shelled peanuts to a crowd that tried to catch the beans.
The stars included yokozuna Hakuho and other sumo wrestlers, cast members of the yearlong historical NHK drama “Kirin ga Kuru” including lead actor Hiroki Hasegawa, kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizo XI and others.
For the event, 860 kilograms of soybeans and 400 kilograms of shelled peanuts were prepared.