I know these pictures look weird but we're actually following a Japanese tradition here.
It's Setsubun today, which is the day before spring in Japan (even though I'm sure the weather will still be pretty wintery in Japan tomorrow) and the Japanese celebrate that in several ways. People love to throw beans (mamemaki) and to catch and eat their age in beans, a tradition I tried a few years ago in Inuyama, to scare away evil spirits. That was an interesting experience, but I much prefer the lucky direction roll (ehomaki) tradition. Basically you buy yourself an uncut sushi roll, and eat it completely in silence while looking in the lucky direction, determined by the zodiac symbol of that year.
Last year, Tomomi inspired me to try it, simply because her makizushi (sushi roll) looked so yummy. But of course, we didn't eat it in silence, we love talking too much, and we had no idea what direction to look in, but we didn't care because our sushi was delicious.
Today, I stopped by Japantown after my appointment at the physical therapist and bought an uncut sushi roll for Yasu and me to lunch on at his school. I did know the lucky direction this year (SSE) but we forgot to check our compass because we were once again busy talking. So no eating in silence and also against tradition, we were sharing the roll... Oh well, lunch was delicious again this Setsubun.