Supermarket Demons

The other day, Mami and I stopped off at our local supermarket to get some bread for my toasted sandwich maker, but ended up buying a whole trolley load of stuff. Fortunately, Japanese trolleys, or shopping carts if you prefer, are tiny.

Mini Japanese shopping carts

Anyway, stuck on the shelves were dozens of little red demons, called “Oni”. Apparently, they were there to celebrate Spring “Setsubun“, the start of Spring, which officially happens on or about February 3rd.

Demons in the supermarket

Now, while people still throw heated beans out of their doors shouting “Demons out! Luck in!” to mark the start of the new season, these little “Oni” creatures are also used to ward off evil spirits, much like gargoyles in English. So I wonder what the purpose of sticking demon faces all over the shelves at the supermarket was. To scare off the customers? “Customers out! Expiry dates in!” I don’t know, but at least the Valentine’s chocolate stand was demon-free.

Japanese oni
This chocolate is demon-free
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