Another interesting and fun part of this holiday is that some costumed men, wearing oni (demon or ogre) masks, go around scaring everyone by sneaking up on them from behind and shouting “aaarrgghh” loudly into their ears. Some of these men are actually hired by the owners of many bars, restaurants, and clubs to go in and scare the customers. This is a way to “scare the living demons” out of people. In addition, while the men in demon masks set to the task of scaring people, an older man usually accompanies them, and plays music out of a conch shell (he’s usually standing somewhere in the background). After everyone is properly shocked, the men in demon masks throw a few handfuls of roasted soybeans, shouting, “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” which translates as “Demon’s out! Luck in!” It is also a custom to eat the roasted soybeans (yes, the ones that have been on the floor), one for each year of your life and sometimes, one more to bring good luck in the future.
Another significant tradition during this time to eat uncut maki-zushi (basically a very big sushi roll usually containing egg and vegetables) while facing in a particular direction. This year it was North-East. One more thing, you can’t talk while eating it. So, if you manage to face in the right direction and silently eat your large sushi roll, you should be lucky for the next year.
And for those of you who thought that Osakans didn’t celebrate Halloween, guess again.