Setsubun (節分) – Time for Renewal



February 3rd in Japan is known as Setsubun. The word setsubun means “a division of the seasons.” According to the Japanese Lunar Calendar, this day marks the beginning of the “Eve of Spring.” By this time, winter seems to loosen its grip a bit and, personally, my desire for an early arrival of spring is starting to bubble up. Knowing that I have endured through the darkest of winter and made it to the “Eve of Spring” brings me a sense of relief and hope for the next season to come. Please don’t get me wrong, I do very much appreciate the serene beauty and the contemplative quietude winter offers. Yet there is something very special about the time of “between winter and spring.” This is the time of expectations – expectations for the light and warmth and beginning of something new. This “between” time is filled with expectations for new and wonderful possibilities.

On the day of Setsubun, the common Japanese custom is for people of all ages to throw dried soybeans, chanting “oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi!” (“Demons go away! Come right in good luck!”) inside and outside the house. Traditional belief is that the throwing of the beans and chanting would drive away demons of misfortune and in turn invite prosperity to enter one’s life. This ritual of renewal carries the same intention as cleaning one’s house and taking care of loose ends prior to the New Year in Japan.

This sentiment resembles the feeling of new beginning and renewal similar to making New Years’ resolutions and doing spring cleaning in Western cultures.

Speaking of New Years’ resolutions, how are you doing with your new commitments? If any of the resolutions involve home improvements, physical or energetic, and you have not started it yet, let me offer you my encouragement!

In the month of February 2012, I’m offering $50 off from our initial consultation. Take advantage of this offer for new paint color selection for your house or performing a blessing ceremony, or any of my services to realize your resolutions. Call or e-mail me to make an appointment today!

Refresh and renew your New Year’s resolution now and let’s make this year of 2012 full of joy, ease and contentment.

With enthusiasm;

Eiko Okura