節分祭Setsubun-sai, recharging spirits, and yakubarai 2020

January 10, 2020

We will hold Setsubun-sai on Saturday, February 1st,

at the Seiwa Market in Torrance (FREE to attend!)

Seeking men and women who were born in the Year of the Rat to participate throwing beans in the ceremony.

We will hold Setsubun-sai on Saturday, February 1st, at the Seiwa Market in Torrance (21815 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503). Anyone can attend this ceremony.         

              After the ceremony, we will provide Setsubun no Harai and gokitō such as yakubarai for yakudoshi (critical year) services.

              We also distribute ehōmaki (lucky sushi roll) made by our blessed rice, which is our collaboration with Koda Farms. (Ehōmaki will be limited 30 pieces.)

Let’s pass along Japanese tradition, culture and customs to the next generation!

Men and Women of the Year of the Rat

We are looking for two men and women who were born in the Year of the Rat. They will participate in the throwing beans ceremony with the Shinto priest and assist distributing beans after the ceremony. We friendly request to donate ohatsuhorō as a participating fee.

About Setsubun

The original meaning of Setsubun is “dividing season,” and the beginning of each of the four seasons was called Setsubun. However, the day before the first day of spring in the lunar calendar is New Year’s Eve, and as it marks the seasonal change from harsh winter to spring, it came to be considered an especially important day. During the Edo period, Setsubun came to exclusively mean the day before the first day of spring. This year, the first day of spring is actually February 4th, making Setsubun February 3rd, but we will hold Setsubun-sai on February 1st due to venue availability. We will hold this Setsubun ceremony to show respect and appreciation and present our wishes to the nature spirits.  This ceremony is free to attend.

About Setsubun-no-harai

This is a very traditional ritual service that has been passed from generation to generation for many years in Shusse Inari Shrine. This ritual is centered around the use of hitogata. From ancient times, the Japanese people have prayed for purification, and to be rid of the previous year’s kegare. New Year’s rituals are for cleansing and refreshing of energy for their spirit. Kegare is often translated as “withered spirit.” Over the course of the year, the energy of a person’s spirit is diminished by tiredness, stress, and other pressures, so New Year’s rituals are performed to cleanse and refresh this energy and recharge the spirit.

Hitogata and application forms are here.

Note: Attendance of this ritual service is not required. 

About yakudoshi (Females ages: 18, 32, 36 / Males ages: 24, 41, 60)

Over the many years of a person’s life, many changes may take place in their body and/or environment. As a result, it is said there is a risk of meeting with misfortune. Years in which there is an increased chance of misfortune are called yakudoshi, meaning “Critical Years.” It is apparent from historical texts that yakudoshi already existed as a custom during the Heian Period in Japan (794 CE–1185 CE). However, yakudoshi are not the only years that one needs to take into account. In addition to the designated critical year (or hon-yaku), the year before a critical year (mae-yaku), and the year after (ato-yaku) also require careful attention in order to avoid misfortune. For this reason, it is necessary to think of yakudoshi as a three-year period. During this three-year period, people go to Shinto shrines in order to receive prayers from priests to ward off evil and to cleanse themselves of its influence. People also pray to purify their bad luck and for good luck charms to bring about better fortune. If you wish to hold a yakubarai gokitō, please make an appointment beforehand. The length of gokitō is approximately 15 minutes.

To schedule a gokitō appointment, please email here.

When:  Saturday, February 1st

       Setsubun-sai (FREE): 12 pm to 12:45 pm

       Gokitō (by appointment only): 1 pm to 2:30 pm

Where: Seiwa Market Torrance (21815 Hawthorne Blvd. Torrance, CA 90503)

Setsubun-sai goshuin will be available!

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