there sprinkled with some sesame. The dish

there are many traditional rituals
in Japan that includes soybeans. “Osechi” is a set of dishes that is eaten in
the new years in japan. The dishes are served in the square boxes piled with
two or three of them, in hope of the New Years bringing many blessings “piled
up” in their lives. each dish has its own meaning, and boiled sweet black beans
is one of the many. The word “mame” means beans. But the sound “mame” itself
also means “healthy” or “diligently.” So people eat sweet black beans so that
we may be healthy and able to work diligently throughout the year. There are
other dishes such as Tazukuri. It is made from dried sardine roasted with soy
sauce, sugar, and sweet cooking wine, sprinkled with some sesame. The dish name
means “making good rice fields.” This comes from how farmers used to sprinkle
fertilizer mixed with minced dried sardine when they planted rice in the spring
wishing they would have a good harvest in the fall. Herring eggs are served
because it bears lots of eggs, so people eat salt-preserved herrings, wishing
for the prosperity of the family. There are deserts as well. Kinton is made
from sweet potatoes and chestnuts, colored with natural yellow coloring
extracted from “kuchinashi”(gardenia). It looks like mashed potatoes but has a
beautiful gold color and tastes very sweet. Chinese characters for “Kinton” mean
gold or treasures, so we wish for the great blessings for next year.

one of the biggest traditional
events that has soy beans as its main symbol is “setsubun”. This is a day
before the beginning of spring in Japan, which is 3rd of Feburary. the ritual that
includes roasted soy beans is called “mamemaki”, which literally means
“scattering beans”. the beans are thrown at a person wearing a mask with a oni(
a demon) on it, while others shout “oni wa soto fuku wa uchi”(demons/bad
spirits go out, luck come inside). The beans are thought to have the power to
destroy evil spirits such as diseases and bad luck. After purifying the home by
driving away bad spirits, it is also customary to eat the same number as your
age of soybeans.

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