The 2017 Father of the Year Award goes to…

As we saw earlier this week, Setsubun (3 February) is a time when many Japanese people enjoy extra-stuffed sushi rolls known as ehomaki. However, there is a much older and widespread custom on this holiday as well.

This is the annual throwing of the beans, when members of the household take roasted soybeans and throw them out a window or door to chase away evil spirits. In some instances “evil” is represented by the father of the family wearing an oni mask while dancing around going “grrrr.”

“Oni” often translates to “demon” but they tend to resemble an ogre more. During Setsubun, many packs of soybeans are sold with oni masks for a family member to wear and thus become a moving target for their kinfolk’s beans.

It’s all good wholesome fun, but clearly kids are not shaken by these plastic or cardboard visages. So what if children were confronted by the face of pure evil on this holiday?

That’s what one parent decided to do using a mere tray for apples that you might find at your local supermarket. Take that plus a little paint and creativity, and you’d be amazed at what comes out the other end. Let’s watch!

▼ “Every year we start making an ogre mask for Setsubun, tomorrow. This year’s material was an apple tray! First, I’ll paint it red.”

▼ “I painted on white eyes and turned one cup inside-out for the mouth.”

▼ “Connect the two trays and it becomes three-dimensional.”

▼ “I joined the upper part of the cylinder and added some more black paint.”

▼ “Add some teeth and a horn, and it’s finished! I wanted to add more hands, but it’s important to know when to stop.”

▼ “I shot this with a timer. I’m looking forward to tomorrow…I need to plan my performance!”

▼ “Crawling on all fours unclothed. Background music “Night on Bald Mountain”. Oni go!”

▼ “A success that hasn’t been seen in years. The 8 year-old trembled and the 4 year-old screamed. This year is a total win.”

So it would seem this dad went with with a more demon-like oni rather than the ogre style they are traditionally depicted as. In fact, it’s the type of demon that appears to be in a constant agony which can only be satiated by inflicting pain on others, the kind you might find in a Tool video or Guillermo del Toro film.

Just to show that the kids weren’t permanently scarred by this holiday, they got to wear the mask too.

By the way, this mask was made by Tatsuya Kameyama of the art duo tupera tupera, along with Atsuko Nakagawa. In addition to a popular line of children’s books, tupera tupera are the art directors for the NHK program Nosy’s Inspiration Studio which teaches kids how to make crafts. However, I doubt this mask will appear on a future episode.

Reaction to the customized oni mask was highly positive.

“Even an adult would cry! I would absolutely scream at that!”
“You should have carried a big club too.”
“Has a bit of a Cthulhu feeling. Very high quality.”
“I’m sure I would freak out if that thing came at me one night.”
“If you had tried that in America, you would have been shot.”

So remember, next time you’re confronted by a 27-eyed monster in the middle of the night: It might just be Setsubun, so toss some beans at it and it’ll probably go away… Probably.

Source: Twitter/@tuperatupera via My Game News Flash
Top image: Twitter/@tuperatupera