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February:  Setsubun and Scholarship applications

Published: February 5, 2019

Have you heard of Setsubun, the Japanese bean-throwing festival?

Setsubun, a centuries-old festival, marks the begining of spring in Japan.  Always celebrated the day before the Lunar New Year, this enduring custom is celebrated to cast out demons and invite good fortune.  Like many festivals, it is celebrated in many variations throughout the country, but a common thread is the throwing of fuku mame, roasted soybeans,  at unsuspecting evil spirits- frequently a senior male member of the family donning a demon mask for the occasion. The beans are said to be a representation of vitality and are thought to purify the home by driving away any evil spirits that are in the house.

As the person chosen to play the part of the Oni - an ogre or evil spirit- tries to come into the room or home, everyone else throws fuku mame at them while shouting "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!"  "Out with evil! In with fortune!"  After the "demon" has been ousted, the door is slammed in a sort of symbolic "get out and stay out!" gesture. Afterwards, it is considered good luck to pick up the beans and eat one for each year of your age.

Like many holidays, Setsubun  has serious roots. Older traditions include fasting and additional religious rituals at shrines. But Setsubun has also become a fun public event in many cities.  Celebrities and sumo wrestlers throw beans and prizes from public stages into large crowds at temples and shrines.  However you choose to celebrate it, Setsubun  can be a joyous way to celebrate the coming of Spring.

The deadline to apply for Passport Fund Scholarships is Wednesday, February 20, 2019.

Passport Fund 

The Passport Fund is Concordia Language Village’s largest need-based scholarship program. Scholarships are need-based for villagers attending one-, two-, and four-week programs at any village. February 20 is the Passport Fund Scholarship Application Deadline.  To apply, complete a Passport Fund application or contact  

But wait, there’s more…

Scholarships specifically for Mori No Ike Villagers from the Midwest.

The US-Japan Foundation has generously donated funding to a limited number of villagers to attend a four-week, High School Credit session at Mori no Ike. Awards are need-based and will cover partial tuition for the session. Preference will be given to students from the Midwest.  To apply, complete a Passport Fund  application or contact  

Thanks to generous support from OMRON, need-based scholarships are available for Chicago-area youth to participate in a summer youth immersion program at the Japanese Language Village.  Scholarship applicants may attend a one-, two-, or four-week session. To apply, please follow the Passport Fund application instructions.

Scholarships for Minnesota Students

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) provides stipends on a first-come, first-served basis, to cover all or a portion of the direct cost for students in grades 3-11 to attend eligible summer academic enrichment programs. This scholarship is for villagers from Minnesota who qualify for free or reduced lunch and have a “C” average or higher. This scholarship can be used at any Concordia Language Village.

 You will need to register for a summer session before submitting a scholarship application. You can find instructions and FAQ's here. Reduced deposit amounts are available upon request. The scholarship application forms will be located in the Forms and Documents of your page of your MyVillage account once you register for a Mori no Ike program.

Scholarship applicants will be notified of their status no later than April 1.