Setsubun is February 3rd. I found Setsubun treats at my local grocery store. Mostly it’s nuts of some sort.  Both soybeans, and more recently peanuts, are used to chase Oni away.  (In case you don’t live in Japan, Setsubun is the time when you throw nuts in the house to get rid of bad spirits, known as “Oni”.  You say in Japanese, “Out with the Oni!  In with good luck!”


The Setsubun display at our grocery store.


And behind that….the Valentine’s Day display!  We have two holidays–one eastern and one western–going on during the same winter season.  You can almost hear the Japanese merchants’ cash registers going, “Ka-ching!”


Most of the treats are nuts (and therefore boring in my book), but there were these adorable chocolate filled marshmallows.  I got them for my son’s snack, however, he doesn’t seem to like marshmallows!  ??!!??!!!!  So today I am taking them to Japanese class to share with everyone.


Cutey cutey Tirolle chocolates.  I got some for my son as a present.

There’s a lot more available than there was when I first arrived in Japan ages ago.  I predict there will be more Oni merchandise in the future.  Oni underpants is my idea!  (Based on the famous Setsubun song about Oni underpants.)


Here’s the same song translated into English: