Lesson Transcript

Peter: Stop by our website japanesepod101.com for all the latest and greatest features, line by line audio, iPod on the go plus much more. Stop by and see what’s going on at japanesepod101.com.
Natsuko: おはよう、東京。第四回 日本文化レッスン。夏子です。
Peter: Peter here and we are back with another Japanese culture class. As always, we are brought to you by Erklaren, the translation and interpretation specialists. Okay today, joining us is
Natsuko: 夏子です。

Lesson focus

Peter: Now Natsuko, can you give us the topic of today’s Japanese culture class.
Natsuko: Oh yes 節分
Peter: Okay can you give it to us one more time a little slower ゆっくりお願いします。
Natsuko: Sure 節分
Peter: Can you break this down for us Natsuko?
Natsuko: せつぶん
Peter: And one time fast
Natsuko: 節分
Peter: Okay Natsuko, can you tell us what does this mean?
Natsuko: It literally means the division of seasons.
Peter: As in the four seasons right?
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Now inside the word, can you give us the word one more time.
Natsuko: 節分
Peter: Okay which is the word for season?
Natsuko: 節
Peter: So we have the season and then what’s the other word?
Natsuko: 分
Peter: And what does this mean?
Natsuko: Divide.
Peter: Got it. So the literal translation is
Natsuko: Divide seasons.
Peter: Yeah division of seasons.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Got it, okay. Thank you very much. Now let’s proceed.
Natsuko: Partially, usually it is used for a day before the first day of next season.
Peter: I see. So for a spring, it would be the day before spring.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: And for fall, it would be the day before fall?
Natsuko: Right.
Peter: Ah so the day before the start of the season.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Got it.
Natsuko: And we usually use the word 節分 only for the day before the first day of spring.
Peter: Is there a special name for that?
Natsuko: 立春
Peter: Okay and can you give us the definition of this?
Natsuko: It means spring starts.
Peter: Can you give it to us one more time?
Natsuko: 立春
Peter: Okay now break it down.
Natsuko: りっしゅん
Peter: And one time fast.
Natsuko: 立春
Peter: There is a small つ in there right?
Natsuko: Yes 立春
Peter: So there is a small つ in there which means you want to hold around the S right?
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Give it to us one more time, exaggerate it.
Natsuko: 立春
Peter: Very nice. Okay we have this holiday right?
Natsuko: Yes not exactly a holiday but kind of a particular day…
Peter: Okay.
Natsuko: That we should remember.
Peter: Got it. A particular day we should remember.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Now this year, which day is it?
Natsuko: I think its February 3rd.
Peter: Yes next Friday right?
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Yeah so hence the reason we are talking about this subject.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Okay now on this particular day, is there some – does something special happen or is it just an ordinary day?
Natsuko: Oh there is a special event. It’s just for 節分
Peter: Can you tell us about that?
Natsuko: You call that 豆まき
Peter: Okay stop right there. Give it to us one more time.
Natsuko: 豆まき
Peter: ゆっくりお願いします。
Natsuko: 豆まき
Peter: Nice. Okay and break it down for us.
Natsuko: まめまき
Peter: And what does this mean?
Natsuko: To throw beans.
Peter: Beans, to throw beans.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: What kind of beans?
Natsuko: Soybeans usually.
Peter: Soybeans, usually soybeans.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Okay. So throwing soybeans on the day before the first day of spring.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: What’s going on here, why….
Natsuko: Sounds strange, isn’t it?
Peter: Yeah.
Natsuko: We throw beans at 鬼
Peter: Hah, what is that? Okay wait, slow down.
Natsuko: Okay.
Peter: So you are throwing beans at what?
Natsuko: We call this monster 鬼
Peter: One more time nice and slow ゆっくりお願いします。
Natsuko: おに
Peter: Okay and this is
Natsuko: A monster.
Peter: Monster.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Okay.
Natsuko: It’s hard to explain but it looks like giant but they have horns and have big eyes.
Peter: Big eyes.
Natsuko: Big mouth.
Peter: Big mouth.
Natsuko: And sharp teeth and they eat humans.
Peter: Wow, I haven’t run into one of them yet.
Natsuko: Me neither, hopefully not.
Peter: Okay so and are they in particular, any…
Natsuko: Oh yes. They are red 鬼
Peter: Red 鬼
Natsuko: And also…
Peter: How to say red in Japanese?
Natsuko: 赤
Peter: So can you tell us the whole expression?
Natsuko: 赤鬼
Peter: 赤鬼 Okay and
Natsuko: They are also 青鬼
Peter: 青鬼
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: And what’s this?
Natsuko: Blue 鬼
Peter: Blue ah, if you guys remember from last week which was
Natsuko: 第三回日本文化レッスン
Peter: Yes Sakura told us about her university and it’s your university too…
Natsuko: Oh yes, yes, yes. We are from same university.
Peter: That’s right and what university is that?
Natsuko: 青山学院
Peter: Yes and this is?
Natsuko: Blue Mountain.
Peter: Yes and give us the color of the second type of monsters.
Natsuko: 青鬼
Peter: Yes blue monsters.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Red monsters, blue monsters.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: You know, I’ve never seen the blue monsters. I have seen the pictures of the red ones but the blue ones…
Natsuko: I think it’s the – the red ones are more popular but sometimes you know blue one comes in. They are friends.
Peter: Friends.
Natsuko: Yeah.
Peter: That’s funny.
Natsuko: It is…
Peter: And in this type of situation, you could say 勉強になりました。
Natsuko: Oh….
Peter: Okay so we have the red monsters, blue monsters and…
Natsuko: And I thought it’s a little similar to Halloween but when the season changes, those kind of evil things tend to come out.
Peter: I see.
Natsuko: So we have to get rid of these and tell them to go out of human districts.
Peter: I got it and the way we do this is
Natsuko: Throw beans at them.
Peter: Can you give us the original word that started this string of conversation.
Natsuko: 豆まき
Peter: Yes now can you break this down.
Natsuko: まめまき
Peter: And one time fast.
Natsuko: 豆まき
Peter: Yes and the words in there, the word for bean is
Natsuko: 豆
Peter: Yes and this is soybean.
Natsuko: Yes usually.
Peter: Yeah usually and then what’s the second word.
Natsuko: まき
Peter: And this is
Natsuko: Throw..
Peter: Yeah.
Natsuko: Or scatter.
Peter: Got it. Okay so throw or scatter. Then we have the monsters. Now do we throw raw soybeans or do the beans need to be prepared or…
Natsuko: We usually roast the beans.
Peter: Roast them?
Natsuko: Yes because well, we eat it afterwards.
Peter: Got it. Okay now when you are doing this, is there some kind of expression that you will use?
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Okay can you give us that expression?
Natsuko: 鬼は外。福は内。
Peter: Very nice. I like it that was great. Give it to us one more time.
Natsuko: 鬼は外。福は内。 It’s like chanting.
Peter: That was so great. Okay now can you break this down? What does this mean?
Natsuko: Monsters go out.
Peter: Monster is out.
Natsuko: Yeah and lucks come in.
Peter: Luck in. Monsters out, luck in.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Got it and usually you do this inside the house right? You are throwing the beans inside your house?
Natsuko: Yes inside our house and yes when you say 鬼は外, when you say monsters go out, we throw it outside.
Peter: Yeah.
Natsuko: And when we say luck come in, throw it inside.
Peter: Got it. Okay all right, this is great.
Natsuko: That’s my style but there are you know variations. Please understand that.
Peter: Yeah I think that’s one of the most important points. You know, what we give you here is what we know to our knowledge and of course there are so many different kinds of customs depending on the village, the town.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: So yeah you can do a lot of research into this. This is really a fascinating thing. Now can you give us the first part of the expression, monsters out?
Natsuko: 鬼は外
Peter: Okay very nice. Now can you break this down for us?
Natsuko: おにはそと
Peter: And one time fast.
Natsuko: 鬼は外
Peter: Okay and monsters out. So the monster in this sentence was
Natsuko: 鬼
Peter: Yeah and out is
Natsuko: 外
Peter: Okay monsters out. Then the second part was
Natsuko: 福は内
Peter: もう一度、お願いします。ゆっくり、お願いします。
Natsuko: 福は内
Peter: 福は内 Right? Break it down please.
Natsuko: ふくはうち
Peter: And one time fast.
Natsuko: 福は内
Peter: And what does this mean?
Natsuko: Luck in.
Peter: Luck in. What’s the word for luck?
Natsuko: 福
Peter: Okay very nice. One more time.
Natsuko: 福
Peter: Okay and what is the word for inside?
Natsuko: 内
Peter: Okay and one more time.
Natsuko: 内
Peter: So give us the whole expression.
Natsuko: 福は内
Peter: Yeah luck in.
Natsuko: Luck in.
Peter: Okay. Some people might be wondering, I also heard the word for luck is 運
Natsuko: Yes 運 can mean both good luck and bad luck.
Peter: Ah I see.
Natsuko: But 福 means only good luck.
Peter: Ah thank you Natsuko. Ah it’s great to have you here. Very, very nice Natsuko.
Natsuko: Thank you.
Peter: Okay so we got this expression. So this is what you do in your house, right?
Natsuko: Yes, yes.
Peter: If you roast the beans and you get the family together
Natsuko: Yes..
Peter: And you throw them around?
Natsuko: Yes calling 鬼は外。福は内 like that.
Peter: Okay.
Natsuko: Okay.
Peter: Then we have
Natsuko: And I heard that there is also an old custom of putting a fish head on a holly branch.
Peter: A holly branch?
Natsuko: Holly branch and place it at the door of your house.
Peter: Really?
Natsuko: Yes to prevent the evils coming in.
Peter: So you take a fish head and stick it on to a holly branch.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Or on a branch and then add some holly and this is supposed to keep out the evil spirits.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Wow! Another superstition. Very, very interesting.
Natsuko: I don’t know the reason but I heard that you do that on 節分 day.
Peter: Got it. Now what we just discussed was related to the house, your own house.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Is there some kind of bigger gathering or some kind of event.
Natsuko: Yes umm 豆まき also takes place in Shinto shrines.
Peter: Shinto shrine.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Which is
Natsuko: 神社
Peter: Okay one more time.
Natsuko: 神社
Peter: Break it down.
Natsuko: じんじゃ
Peter: One time fast.
Natsuko: 神社
Peter: And this is shrine.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: And also
Natsuko: Temples.
Peter: Yeah which is
Natsuko: 寺
Peter: Break it down.
Natsuko: てら
Peter: One time fast.
Natsuko: 寺
Peter: And what kind of celebration do they have at these temples and shrines?
Natsuko: At these events, the special feature is 年男の豆まき
Peter: Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Stop, stop, stop! もう一度お願いします。
Natsuko: 年男 の 豆まき
Peter: Okay and now, the last part…
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: It’s not familiar, what’s that?
Natsuko: 豆まき
Peter: Ah throw the beans.
Natsuko: Yes so we did the same thing but 年男
Peter: Okay what’s this?
Natsuko: Translation is, this year’s man.
Peter: This year’s man.
Natsuko: Yes but this came from China. There is a special way to count the years in Japan and those years have the cycle of 12 years.
Peter: I see. It’s the Chinese 12 year system of giving an animal the year of the animal.
Natsuko: Yes, yes, yes, yes. There is a specific animal for each year.
Peter: Yeah.
Natsuko: And this year, it’s dog. So 年男 well, there are also 年女 that’s the year’s woman.
Peter: I see.
Natsuko: And it is someone born on that year. So someone who is 12, 24, 36. Stop there.
Peter: Yeah, so I got it.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: This year like Natsuko said, this is the year of the dog.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: So anybody who is born, anyone who is the year of the dog will be the one to throw the beans.
Natsuko: Yes because those people are considered to be the lucky ones.
Peter: And this is the first time that I actually heard about this. It’s very, very interesting for me.
Natsuko: Oh really! So people out there throwing beans might be you know, those who are born on the dog year.
Peter: Got it. Very interesting. Thank you very much Natsuko, fascinating.
Natsuko: You are welcome.
Peter: Okay so I think that’s going to cover for 節分 right?
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Natsuko, will you be out throwing beans this Friday?
Natsuko: Ah not sure. Well it’s kind of a popular event for children.
Peter: Ah I see.
Natsuko: So we do it in elementary schools, we do it in families with small children and in those cases, usually the fathers wear a mask imitating 鬼
Peter: Oh really!
Natsuko: Yes monster and you know, the father runs away from child throwing beans at him.
Peter: I didn’t know that. Really!
Natsuko: Family event.
Peter: In the western world, usually the father, he winds up dressing up like Santa Claus and he comes in and with the kids…
Natsuko: Yes, yes, yes just like that.
Peter: And I realized that at convenient stores, I already started to see it but at convenient stores, they have masks for sale.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Masks – are those the masks they wear…
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Like little paper masks right?
Natsuko: Yes that’s right. So most – maybe most fathers there have to be 鬼 this Friday.
Peter: Good luck everybody out there.
Natsuko: 頑張ってください。
Peter: Very nice and Natsuko, when the kids are little, do they really believe that it’s monsters or they kind of know.
Natsuko: Yes they kind of know but in some villages, there are more traditional culture of 節分 and I see on TVs that they imitate really good and…
Peter: Really dress up right?
Natsuko: Yes and they appear really scary and they go around each houses in the village and people throw beans or say something or do some kind of ceremony. So maybe in those areas, small kids might believe that there are really monsters.


Peter: I think I would if I was – if I saw that. Well that’s going to wrap it up for today. Thank you so much Natsuko.
Natsuko: Thank you Peter.
Peter: And what we are going to do is on our website www.japanesepod101.com, we are going to put up more information about this because it’s a really, really interesting holiday particularly a day we should remember.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Something that’s very, very unique.
Natsuko: It is, you must check it out.
Peter: Definitely check it out. Okay so that’s going to do it for today.
Natsuko: また明日。
Peter: See you tomorrow. Be sure to stop by japanesepod101.com and check out the premium learning center. Inside we have material to bring everything you learned in the lesson together. Flashcards, quizzes really consolidate what you learned in today’s lesson. Stop by, say hi and be sure to leave us a post.


Review & Remember All Kanji from this Lesson

Get complete breakdowns, review with quizzes and download printable practice sheets! Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?