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'Demons out, good luck in': Kabuki star joins bean-tossing festivities in Fukuoka

Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ennosuke (center) and others throw beans at Kushida Shrine in Fukuoka's Hakata Ward on Feb. 3, 2023. (Mainichi/Tomohisa Yazu)

FUKUOKA -- A famous Kabuki actor took part in a bean-throwing ceremony in this southwestern Japan city to mark the traditional festival of Setsubun on Feb. 3.

    For the first time in three years, the event at Kushida Shrine in Fukuoka's Hakata Ward took place as usual, after being canceled in 2021 and held on a smaller scale last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Shinto shrine's grounds were bustling with visitors celebrating the festival, which marks the day before spring begins on the old lunar calendar, to pray for good health amid spirited calls of, "Out with demons, in with good fortune!"

    The bean-throwing ceremony was joined by Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ennosuke, who is performing in an ongoing Kabuki program at the city's Hakataza Theater. Visitors held out their arms, clamoring, "Over here! Over here!" as Ichikawa and others tossed down pouches containing beans and red and white rice cakes.

    (Japanese original by Hayato Jojima, Kyushu News Department)

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