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Good Fortune Sushi Rolls


Thick Sushi Rolls

Thick Sushi Rolls

Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka
February 3rd is called Setsubun, which is also known as a bean throwing (mamemaki) festival in Japan. People throw roasted soybeans around houses and at temples and shrines to drive off bad luck and to bring good luck in. It's a custom to eat the same number of beans as one's age, hoping for good health and happiness.

Eho-maki (fortune rolls) are futo-maki (thick sushi rolls) eaten on the night of Setsubun. To be related with the Seven Deities of Good Fortune called Shichifukujin, seven fillings are traditionally rolled in a sushi roll. For example, simmered shiitake mushrooms and kanpyo (dried gourd), cucumber, rolled omelet (tamagoyaki), eels, sakura denbu (sweet fish powder), and seasoned koyadofu (freeze-dried tofu) are used. These ingredients represent good health, happiness, and prosperity, and rolling the fillings means good fortune.

Usually, sushi rolls are sliced into bite-sized pieces. But fortune rolls aren't sliced since slicing indicates cutting good fortune. When eating fortune rolls, people face toward the good fortune direction of the year and make wishes.

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