Setsubun Festivals in Nagoya 2022

ByRay Proper
Jan 25, 2022

Setsubun Festivals in Nagoya 2022

Setsubun, or “That Bean-Throwing Festival,” celebrates the beginning of spring in Japan. Celebrated yearly on February 3 as part of the Spring Festival, its association with the Lunar New Year makes this festival a sort of New Year’s Eve. A special ritual accompanies this association to cleanse away the evil of the previous year and drive away evil spirits for the year to come. This unique ritual is called mamemaki, literally “bean throwing.”


The toshiotoko of the household performs the custom of Mamemaki. The Toshiotoko is a male born on the corresponding year of the Chinese zodiac or the male head of household. Roasted soybeans are thrown either out the door or at a family member wearing an Oni (demon) mask, while the people say, “Demons out! Luck in!” (Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!?) and slam the door. This is no longer a common practice in households anymore, but many people will attend a shrine or temple’s spring festival instead, where a similar ceremony is performed.

The beans symbolically purify the home by driving away the evil spirits that bring misfortune and bad health. It is also customary to eat roasted soybeans, one for each year of one’s life, and in some areas, one for each year of one’s life plus one more for bringing good luck for the year to come.

At Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines all over the country, there are celebrations for Setsubun. Priests and guests will throw roasted soybeans (some wrapped in gold or silver foil), small envelopes with money, sweets, candies, and other prizes. In some bigger shrines, celebrities and sumo wrestlers will be invited; these events are televised nationally.

Osu Kannon Temple Setsubun Festival

The most famous and exciting Sestsubun Festival in Nagoya is at Osu Kannon Temple on February 3. A large parade is held, where a ship meant to bring good fortune departs from Sakae and makes its way to Osu Kannon at around 13:18. The highlight of this festival is seeing the ships pulled through the Osu Shopping Arcade. This is an exciting festival and well worth the free admission!

Osu Kannon Temple

  • 460-0011 Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya, Naka Ward, Osu, 2 Chome−21−47 (google map)
  • 052-231-6525
  • A short walk from Osu Kannon Subway Station, exit 2

Narita Manpukuin Temple Setsubun Festival

This festival is less well known but is reportedly pretty impressive. It takes place from February 3.

Narita Manpukuin Temple

  • 460-0008Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya, Naka Ward, Sakae,  5 Chome-26-24 (google map)
  • 052-241-7670
  • A 7-minute walk from Yabacho Station, exit 3

Image “Setsubun, bean and mask of ogre” katorisi (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons (modified)

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