日本: Kyoto no Setsubun

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Demons Being frightened away with soy beans

Having booked my stay at a Buddhist Temple in Kyoto a couple weeks in advance, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had scheduled myself there for Setsubun. More festivals, this time to celebrate the coming of spring! Commence calling Groundhog Day America's Setsubun.

From what I gathered, demons must be scared away by throwing roasted soy beans at them. And everyone must crowd into a tiny space and either also be pelted with soy beans, or purchase festival food. And a man must shoot an arrow into the crowd. Hopefully it is caught and does not poke anyone's eye out.

Other than Setsubun, this was pretty much the most tourist-y trip I have ever taken in my life. On Sunday, I befriended a young tourist couple and tagged along for a show at Gion Corner in which they crammed ~8 Japanese arts into one hour. There was ikebana going on while a tea ceremony was being performed in the corner. There was a short play, an orchestra, and a Maiko dancing. It was a lot to take in. And may or may not have ended with me getting dressed up in a kimono on stage. I seriously wish the audience was more forthcoming with the volunteerism.

It turns out I missed a few spots from being distracted by Setsubun. I guess I'll just have to brave that 1 hour train ride again, and hit what I missed!

Setsubun at Heian Shrine
Time to shoot another arrow into the crowd
Soybean Throwing at Setsubun at Heian Shrine
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle
Setsubun at Yoshida Shrine
Setsubun at Yoshida Shrine
Ryoanji Temple Zen Garden
Nijo Castle Ryoanji Temple
DSC_1057
Ninnaji Temple Around Myoshinin Temple Complex
Flower at Ninnaji Temple
Gion Corner Culture Show Gion

1 comments:

Manda said...

Oh, how pretty! I have never heard of Setsubun, but now I'm going to read up on it.

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