Setsubun and Sushi Rolls

Maiko tossing Setsubun dried soybeans in Kyoto

Today, February 3rd, is Setsubun in Japan. We start the day throwing dried soybeans saying out with the devil, in with good fortune. For dinner we made ehōmaki sushi rolls. The supermarkets are selling ehōmaki – lots of them.

Setsubun ehōmaki sushi rolls

We enjoy making rolls at home. Once you practice a few times it becomes second nature. Iron Chef @kimiononaga of #NihonbashiYukari restaurant gave me a great tip to roll the sushi on the short side. Usually sushi rolls are made on the long side, making it sometimes to roll if there are lots of fillings. Arigato, chef! It was much easier to make sushi rolls.

Maki sushi fillings

This year we made the rolls with tuna sashimi, tamagoyaki omelet, shiitake mushrooms and kampyo dried gourd – both cooked in a sweet soy sauce, and sakura denbu which is a condiment of cooked fish with sugar and pink food coloring.


In Kansai, in the Osaka area, one is supposed to face a certain direction when eating the ehōmaki – and to eat the roll at one time without talking. Each year the direction changes. I believe this year it was South, SouthEast 140 degrees. We tried it, but I gave up after two bites.

Kyoto Setsubun

I am including some photos from Kyōto from a prior visit when maiko apprentice geisha were tossing the dried soybeans in packets. Let me tell you, the elderly in the crowds were very pushy to grab the packets. It was fun but also a bit dangerous. 😂

#foodsaketokyo #Setsubun #ehomaki #ehōmaki #sushi #soybeans #japanesefood #japaneseculture #japan #節分 #恵方巻 #恵方巻き #norimaki #海苔巻き #おうちごはん #巻きすし #巻き寿司 #南南東 #鬼は外福は内 #futomaki #japon #giappone #faitalamaison #cuisine #cooking #Kyoto #maiko #tradition

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Deirdre says:

    What a fun post. I had never heard of this festival before. Glad you guys steered clear of the elbow-throwing elders this year! Thanks for sharing, Yukari.

    1. Best wishes for the new year!

      1. Deirdre says:

        Arigato, Yukari, and same to you!

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