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News from Japan - February 3, 2022

The Setsubun Festival, a Japanese tradition

haricots et masques utilisés lors d'une cérémonie du setsubun

In Japan, February 3 is dedicated to the holiday Setsubun (節分), celebrating the arrival of spring. On this day, there are many rituals: 

- Bean Throwing (豆撒き - Mamemaki) : A member of the family, disguised as a demon, walks around the house, while the others (kindly) throw him lucky beans, called Fukumame. Shouting “Demons out! Happiness inside!” (鬼は外! 福は内! - “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi! ”), they drive out the demons of their house to bring happiness into it. After throwing them, we pick them up and eat the number corresponding to our age plus one, to have a good year over the next 12 months. 

It is possible to obtain "Setsubun kits", consisting of a mask demon they and a bag of beans Fukumame.

- Eat a ehōmaki (恵方巻 - lucky maki): On the evening of Setsubun, you have to eat this roll of rice, wrapped in a sheet of seaweed. You have to swallow it in one go, without speaking, making a wish. Everything must be done in the direction of the auspiciousness of the year, which changes according to the last digit of the year. It helps to attract happiness.

The term “Setsubun” originally refers to the transition from one season to another. Today, if it is mainly celebrated on the eve of the first day of spring, it is because the passage from winter to spring is considered as the border from one year to another (like the eve of the day of the Year in France).

 

Japan's secret against natural disasters

Un souterrain dans Tokyo contre les inondations

Japan seems to hold the solution to counter the natural disasters that it may experience, but also that other countries may suffer, particularly due to climate change.

Since the Japanese capital changed its name from Edo to Tokyo in 1868, the city has suffered earthquakes, fires, typhoons, and floods. Being accustomed to the fact and innovative, the Japanese have learned to deal with such situations.

It is therefore in Tokyo that we find an impressive underground. At 177 meters long, 78 meters wide, 18 meters high, and supported by 59 concrete pillars (each weighing 500 tons), the space is called Ryū-Q Kan (or G-Cans).

This underground structure has storage tanks, water channels and valves that can absorb water from rivers that overflow due to bad weather. Subsequently, the excess water is discharged to Tokyo Bay.

With the changing climate of the Earth and the increase in storms and floods, Tokyo seems to have found a solution to combat these natural disasters. Indeed, the city is doing relatively well, despite heavier rains and more typhoons. In recent years, the underground has been used several times, protecting the city from flooding.

So could the Japanese capital serve as a model for protecting cities around the world against natural disasters?

 

Super Bowl promoted with Attack on Titan

Affiche de superbowl inspirée de l’anime Shingeki no kyojin (L’Attaque des Titans)

 

The American sports news site, Bleacher Report (followed by more than 10 million people), was inspired by SNK's season 4 part 2 poster to announce a Super Bowl match.

Indeed, we see quarterback Matthew Stafford of the Los Angeles Rams facing quarterback Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals, who is represented as a Titan.

With the match taking place in the Los Angeles Rams' SoFi Stadium, Stafford's teammates will defend their turf against Burrow's attack, much like Eren defending against the Titans' attack. Thus, on the poster, we can read “Attack on SoFi”.

Currently being broadcast, the anime is a hit in Japan, France, but also all over the world. The Japanese are very enthusiastic, even surprised, by the international popularity of Attack on Titan.

Bleacher Report is not at its first attempt. Last year they already dabbled in the world of anime with an NBA/Naruto crossover video.

 


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