Setsubun, which translates to “Seasonal Division,” is a festival held at the beginning of February. As designated by the Japanese Lunar Calendar, the celebration occurs one day prior to the start of Spring. And while not a national holiday, many still partake in rituals that ward off evil spirits. Often dubbed the “Bean-Throwing Festival,” Setsubun is best commemorated in the shoe’s added imagery. Across the back heel, for example, Tsuno Daishi, the Great Horned Master, is embroidered in purple thread, with Swooshes replacing his horns. The figure’s appearance, while seemingly ominous, actually protects from evil and illness. Elsewhere, the graphic along the insole borrows from Edo period artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s work, its vibrant colors displaying the folk hero Kintarō in action.
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