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Taga Taisha Shrine celebrates Setsubun on Feb. 3. For their Setsubun festival in 2009, they had three impressive demons (called oni) dance on stage and act as the evil oni to be chased away with soybeans.Feb. 3 is the Setsubun Festival at many temples and shrines in Japan. It marks the beginning of spring according to the lunar calendar. So they throw beans at ogre to eliminate the evil of the previous year and bring in good fortune. Taga Taisha had impressive ogre (called oni in Japanese) dancers from Shimane Prefecture to act as the demons to chase away during the festival.
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The oni first appeared amid smoke on the Kaguraden stage and danced menacingly. They were from a dance troupe called Inbara Kaguradan in Shimane Prefecture. 鬼の舞は、島根県石見地方の因原(いんばら)神楽団が奉納。
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Then the oni ran on the elevated hanamichi making threats to an amused crowd. MAP
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The good guys, in the form of shrine priests, then appeared and started throwing roasted soybeans at the oni demons.
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The oni went back on stage.
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The oni costumes were gorgeous and impressive.
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On stage, the oni was rained upon with paper streamers.
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Also see my YouTube video here.
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The paper streamers seemed like demon repellant.
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The shrine priests continued their bean attack on the oni.
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Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi! (鬼は外! 福は内!)
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Next, were 124 bean throwers who were born in the year of the bull. They wore a red cap.
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Everyone got into position as they held a wooden box full of mochi and beans.
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First the shrine priest had to shoot an arrow into the crowd, then the bean throwing began.
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A large crowd was on hand to catch the beans and mochi. The bean-throwing is called mame-maki. They held two mame-maki sessions that day, at 11 am and 2 pm. This was at 2 pm.
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All the while, the PA system screamed, Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi! (鬼は外! 福は内!)
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There were no celebrity bean-throwers like at famous shrines/temples.
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Throwing mochi. The mochi was bare and dry, hard as a rock.
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The bean-throwing was fun, but potentially dangerous with people pushing you around. Taking pictures is pretty risky as well. One mochi hit my camera lens. Fortunately, no damage.
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I also got hit on the shoulder while taking pictures. You should always look up and see where the mochi and beans are flying.
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The soybeans were thrown in little paper bags, so we could still pick them up and eat them even if they fell to the ground.
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This person caught quite a few mochi and beans. Also see my YouTube video here.
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The bean-throwers for 2009 pose for a group shot in front of Taga Taisha Shrine.
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The bean-throwers for 2009 pose for a group shot with the shrine priests.
   
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