Battle of the Songs: Throwing the Musical Beans

It’s February 3rd! Another round of the Battle of the Songs. This battle is a treat as we feature two artists from a country that celebrates a special day today that involves bean throwing.

Who will win this time? Click below, listen to each song, and vote for your favorite! But be warned:

Ogres Out, Good Luck In!

Today is the traditional celebration called Setsubun. This event marks the eve of spring according to the Lunar Calendar. You probably think I am crazy, spring in February! Are you ok? That is the coldest month in the year. Didn’t you see Chicago freeze over and suffer air colder than the Arctic’s?

Actually, the Chinese New Year is on Tuesday. And, it’s Chinese name is 初春, which means early spring (but that is based on the Japanese reading). Japanese also celebrates 初春 but they use it on January 1 as the country celebrates it based on the Western calendar.

Nevertheless, the Japanese derived Setsubun from an 8th-century Chinese custom called tsuina (追儺). In modern Japan, Setsubun is usually celebrated at community gatherings, schools, or in various families. Someone dresses up as the 鬼 or ogre — usually one of the parents or teachers — and tries to scare kids. Meanwhile, armed with a bag of beans, the kids try to force the ogre out of the house by throwing beans at the evil spirit. While throwing the beans, everyone chants “鬼は外! 福は内!” Ogres out, Good Luck In!

This sounds like a lot of fun. But to little kids, the ogres or demons can be scary. We had our Setsubun celebration on Friday and I had to comfort a lot of little girls, crying because the ogre scared them. Those poor little kids.

Eating Towards East-North-East

Another tradition for Setsubun is eating a large sushi roll called 恵方巻 or ehoumaki. The word is derived from ehou (恵方, which means favorable way) and maki (巻, roll). Traditional ehoumaki is made with kanpyō, egg, eel, and shiitake mushrooms. But, there have been new and different versions of ehoumaki around supermarkets and convenient stores.

While you eat this long roll of sushi, you are supposed to eat in that year’s direction in silence and with eyes shut. This is to bring good luck. For 2019, we have to eat it in the direction of East-North-East (東北東).

Let the Bean Throwing Begin

For this year’s Setsubun and for this Battle of the Songs, I picked at least two songs or artists that have “beans” in their name. It was really hard to find real songs that mention beans in the title as the majority of material I found on Spotify was very indie and I don’t know if it was a real song. Also too, since Setsubun is a Japanese celebration, I picked two songs from the country.

Let’s see what I picked!

Vanilla Beans – D&D



First off the bat is Vanilla Beans with their 80s’ inspired song “D&D”. I might have a slight bias towards Vanilla Beans as they were one of my favorite idols in the later part of the first decade of the 21st century. I actually got into them because of “D&D”. I don’t remember how I found this song but I did remember buying the mini-album that had “D&D” on.

I also had the opportunity to meet Rena and Risa at Tokyo Idol Festival in 2015. After seeing their mini-live, I went to their merchandise table to buy a poster so I could get a photo with them. As you see on the right, it was a really great experience. The girls are very nice! I don’t remember if I talked to them or not but they were really nice.

As I said above, “D&D” is a tribute to the 80s. This song just has every element of musical influence from this decade: the strings (which were big in 80s Japanese music), the synthesizer, the Eurobeat beat, and the drumkit. Even the PV is styled like it was filmed in the 80s as it is a parody of a Japanese music countdown show called The Best Ten, a show that was popular in the 80s.

“D&D” is a pleasant song. I really enjoy the girls using a soft, sweet tone when they are singing. And the instrumentation is pretty good too. It isn’t too over the top or obnoxious., it is actually really pleasant to listen to.

Overall, “D&D” is a pleasant song that will have listeners journey back to the 80s.

ANRI – Havana Beans (Dancin’ Tune)

Speaking of the 80s, this next song was ACTUALLY recorded in the 80s and by an idol famous during this decade.

I have mentioned about ANRI before when I spotlighted “Windy Summer” last summer. You can read more about her in that post. But, ANRIL shouldn’t be limited to her 80s, she had some great hits in the 70s and 90s. I actually discovered her when she sang the ending to the movie Tenchi Muyo! in Love 2.

“Havana Beans” doesn’t really feature ANRI singing full verses. Just a chorus singing bits and pieces all over. (Although, ANRI did write the lyrics to this song. ) The song is supposed to serve as a dance interlude midway in an album. It is quick, all over the place, bouncy, and catchy. Yes, there is not a lot of content as a song goes: its length is under two minutes, there isn’t much a story, and it is all over the place. But, the purpose of
“Havana Beans” is to remind listener what was music in the late 80s’ — especially on the dance floor — but also to take a breather from the other tracks off from the album, CIRCUIT OF RAINBOW.

Put it this way: It is 3 pm, you are sleepy and tired of spending time in front of the computer or the desk. You want a coffee break to have you get out that chair, stretch out those muscles, and freshen up with a cup of hot coffee. “Havana Beans” is like that coffee that refreshes as it livens you up and changes the musical scenario.


What Will It Be?

Now it is your turn to vote! Who will be the victor of the first-ever “Battle of the Songs”? Tell me in the comments below! Also, tell me why you choose a particular version! I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

I am also part of The “Battle of the Bands” blog collection. After you vote, please visit the other battles from this blogger circle. There are really interesting battles!

🌞 Visit TOSSING IT OUT by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit MIKE’S RAMBLINGS’by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit CURIOUS AS A CATHY by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING by clicking HERE
🌞 Visit JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit ANGELS BARK by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit THE DOGLADY’S DEN by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE by clicking HERE
🌞 Visit STMoC PRESENTS BATTLE OF THE BANDS by clicking HERE.

This Post Has 174 Comments

  1. I like both, but definitely the first one’s the winner for me. Rena and Risa sound great together, and I like their look.

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  2. Both of these were fun to listen to. But, like John, I’m going to vote for the first one – Vanilla Beans. How awesome for you to have met them!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  3. Very Cool article! I hadn’t heard of Setsubun before this and it sounds like such a great celebration! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I like the first one. My vote goes for Vanilla Beans. They were refreshing to watch and the song had a nice beat. The second song had a danceable beat to it, but it did not appeal to me as much as the first one.

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  5. Anri was fine, but I prefer “Vanilla Beans”–good memories of that eighties sound.
    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  6. truly enjoyed learning about Setsubun and my vote is for the first one though I did enjoy both

  7. This is all new info to me, except the Lunar New Year, but it’s great culture to learn about. The first version I prefer but they’re both nice too.

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  8. Wow I love Japanese music they are all cool I see a lot of smile on your face <3

  9. Vanilla Beans!! I liked that one best!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  10. I so enjoy reading your blog. Each time, I am learning about new songs that I haven’t heard before.

  11. Happy New year of Pig ! Hope it bring lots of readers and prosperity for you 🙂

  12. Hi Ai, such a great post I was fascinated reading it!
    My step children are half Japanese and they always celebrate Setsubun 🙂
    Yaya x

  13. This was so much fun to read so late at night! My vote is also Vanilla Beans!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  14. Such a well researched article. I love the tradition of the ehoumaki! I might have to start doing that in my house too!

    1. Please do! They are really easy to make!

  15. I vote for Vanilla Beans! I just love soft music that has some instrumental beats to listen to!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  16. I clicked on your article out of curiosity and so glad I did. Real interesting read! Well done

  17. I See roll of Sushi of your post. It is so tasty. Thank you for share

    1. It is awesome! I love making them too!

  18. I would vote for Havana Beans!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  19. I vote for vanilla beans 😊

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  20. Thanks for sharing about Setsubun, I didn’t know anything about the tradition. I had fun reading it!

  21. It’s so fun learning about Setsubun, I’ve never heard of it before. That sushi roll looks amazing.

  22. I love learning about different traditions and celebrations, thank you for educating!

  23. Seems like a great place, I have no idea of the celebration but sounds like a great one. Happy new year to you

    1. You too1 May it be a great year for you!

  24. I definitely enjoyed the Vanilla Beans song so that one has my vote

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  25. I enjoyed them both too much to decide!! I know, that’s not what you asked for but they were both so great!!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  26. Thanks for sharing about setsubun and I vote for Vanilla beans!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  27. Really fun article! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  28. My vote goes to Havana beans. I like the way it sounds… 😊

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  29. I’ve never heard of these before, and I honestly don’t know. But I’m interested in finding out!

  30. I too have a tradition of eating sushi, lol… But that’s it. I just eat it, no specific way, however I always order the same thing – hahahaha!

    1. Hahaha! That is awesome to hear though! What is your favorite types?

  31. Crazy for spring in February? I would TAKE IT! I’m ready for warm weather. My vote is for Vanilla beans!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

    2. It is warm here but in Hokkaido, they are having the polar vortex. I hope we don’t get very cold temps!

  32. Both of the songs were amazing, but I might have to vote for the first one, it’s was more serene for me, and I really enjoyed the light use of music 😀 can’t wait for more of these kinds of posts, also that giant sushi roll looks amazing :O

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  33. I’ve never heard of any of these songs. You always introduce me to something new!

    1. You are welcome. Which one is your favorite?

  34. I had never heard of Setsubun before today! Thanks for sharing this article, and giving us all a little more information about Chinese history!

  35. I had never heard of Setsubun before reading this! This is some great information.

  36. I voted for Angel’s bark, loved their name…and although I missed the holiday, I’m gonna make up for it this weekend by eating some ehoumaki

  37. I love learning about different peoples cultures. This is so much fun! I wish we had something like this.

    1. I am happy that you love learning about new cultures!

  38. Very cool!

  39. Both are awesome but i am leaning towards the first one, i personally like it better. Thank you for the great post.
    Chad
    http://www.mosaicslab.com

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  40. These comparisons are always so much fun! I think I like the first one better, but both are so unique.

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  41. This is something new. When I was in Japan we just ate Osechi during the new year. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  42. Definitely the first one!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  43. I came back to comment that I shared your post with my daughter and she knew about the songs.

    1. That is amazing! Does she like Jpop?

  44. This is something new to me. I did not know about the tradition. Both songs are so unique.

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  45. Both of the songs are amazing. You always introduce me to something new!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  46. I’ve never heard of Setsubun before but I would love to learn more. I like the songs too.

  47. A tradiditonal celebration to welcome spring sounds just awesome; saying bye bye to winter is sven better!

  48. I loved the Vanilla beans one!! The music beats sounds organized and their voices are angelic!!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  49. I am going to vote for Vanilla Beas. I enjoyed reading about Setsubun and some of the history of the Japanese and Chinese cultures.

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  50. I’d have to go with Anri because it reminds me of the music mom my listened too when I was younger. It takes me back.

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  51. I did not know about this tradition. Thanks for introducing us to something new.

  52. I vote for Havana Beans! I much prefer dancing tunes over the other stuff. I have never heard of this song or these artists before.

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  53. Never heard of so many traditions sorounding the new year traditions and what they mean. Really lovely writing style

  54. Wow! Didn’t know anything about these traditions, it’s great to learn new things. I am not familiar with “Battle of the Songs,” but good luck to the contestants.

  55. Interesting! I had never heard about either of these traditions! I liked the first song better but that may just be because I love their 70’s vibe 🙂

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  56. First time to hear these artists and both versions of the song are great and its fun to listen to. For me, Vanilla Bean sounds really good!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  57. Both of these artists and songs were new to me. I vote for the first one, although both were fun!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  58. Eating in a specific direction? Whoa! These artists and songs seem so unique and cool! Vanilla bean sounds awesome.

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  59. I’m going to go with D&D. I love the 80s feel with a twist of the 60s. It’s very catchy.

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  60. I definitely think I will be voting for the first one, just a lot more my style. I hadn’t heard either before this article though.

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  61. You shared so many information through your blog. I have not visited this place yet but now I learned a lot about this place.

  62. My vote is for Vanilla Beans. I love their style adn that would fit my personality,

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  63. This is really interesting and exciting. I will check all of them later so I can decide who to vote.

    1. Thanks! Let me know which one you like!

  64. These songs were so interesting and I had not heard of them. Such great picks to choose from!

  65. Music lover here. I love almost all categories. Nice interface amd nice article. Thanks for sharing.

  66. Vanilla beans sound good to me!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  67. How much fun, I bet you have a challenge finding songs with beans in the title! My vote goes for Vanilla Beans, I don`t know they look so cute and serene 🙂

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  68. Vanilla Bean sounds awesome. It has such a cool beat.

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  69. Thanks for such an informative post – I had never heard of it before! And great song choices too, think I would have to go for the first one.

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  70. What I like most about blogging is interacting with fellow bloggers. Reading their thoughts and experiences. I feel we could all learn and get inspiration from each other. I never heard of Setsubun prior to reading this. Thanks for the information! I’m definitely going with vanilla beans!

    1. You are welcome! Maybe you will practice it next year! Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  71. Both of them are a lot of fun I think. But if I were to choose one I think I would do Havana Beans.

    1. Thank you for your vote. Check back on Monday for the results!

  72. This was really nice and pleasant to read ! I can’t wait to see the result !

  73. I truly love your battle of songs feature. Anyway, both are really good but I am voting for the first one. It really has a nice beat.

  74. Vanilla beans for me, sounds so great and brings a happy eighty’s vibes. Love this article.

  75. Well, I didn’t understand the song in the video but the music is so amazing. Thanks for the information about Musical Beans

  76. Lol wow i had no idea about all of this. I love that theres a japanese element here. my fave culture.

  77. I didn’t understand the works but I love how soothing the beat is on the first song. My vote is number 1!

  78. I like both of them, so it’s really hard to pick one. But if I had to, it would be the first one 🙂

    1. Thanks for the vote. Check back on Wednesday to see who is the winner!

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