The festival is to celebrate the start of Spring and generally sees celebrities throwing beans as they try to ward of spirits and wish good luck for the coming year.
Although the festival it's self hasn't made much of a mark on the western it is a big event in Japan, especially the Kansai region and the fact the fighters were involved in such high profiles roles will help them continue to build their presence ahead of future bouts
For stablemates Kono and Taguchi they are only at the beginning of their reigns. Kono, who won the title early last year when he stopped Denkaosan Kaovichit, has made just a single defence, recording a draw with Norberto Jimenez on New Years Eve whilst Taguchi is a new crowned champion looking for the first defence of the title he won at the end of last year when he out pointed Alberto Rossel.
(Images courtesy of http://www.watanabegym.com)