Demons Fleeing from Otafuku, 1870
Ink on paper
13 x 2505 in. (33.02 x 6362.7 cm)
The Japanese annual festival “Setsubun” happens on the first day of spring, according to their premodern calendar.
Roasted soybeans are thrown while shouting “Demons out! Good luck in!”
At left, a woman, commonly called “Otafuku / Great Good Fortune”, holds a box of beans on a footed tray while two demons run away.
Crows, often considered divine messengers, are depicted on a folding screen, and may represent the change from winter to spring.
Professor Bruce Coats, October 2021
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