Setsubun means ‘Bean-Throwing Festival’, and is held the day before the beginning of spring in Japan, in association with the Lunar New Year. It is seen as a ritual to drive away evil spirits for the year to come.
A geisha at the Setsubun at Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto’s Gion district. The geishas perform a dance before throwing lucky beans into the crowd (photos by age fotostock/ Robert Harding)
Temple monks and workers throwing the soya beans to people at Yasaka Shrine
A maiko, or apprentice geisha, taking part in the Setsubun
Costumed participants at Yasaka Shine during the festival
See more photos of Setsubun here