Celebrating Setsubun

OIS strongly believes in having our students experience Japanese culture. Setsubun is celebrated in Japan every February 3 as a division between Daikon (greater cold) and Risshun (beginning of spring). The traditional Japanese calendar has 72 “microseasons” in a year and Daikon and Risshun are two of the 24 major subdivisions of this calendar.

Setsubun was previously thought of as sort of a New Year’s Eve, and so it is still today marked by a special ritual to cleanse away the bad spirits of the former year. The mamemaki ritual of throwing beans at the Oni representing bad spirits, cleanses the participants to they are good and healthy for the rest of the year.

The kindergarten students loved throwing beans and had a memorable experience because they were active and it was emotional. The IB philosophy of learning by doing is on display on an activity like this. OIS students learn the culture and language of Japan through their Japanese classes.


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