Monday, November 15, 2010

Shichi go san

In mid-November, parents of 3, 5, and 7 year-old kids take them to local shrines for a blessing and special ceremony. I dragged our family to the Heian Jingu in Kyoto (one of the biggest ones) to look around. Heian Jingu has this huge torii:

Part of the fun is that kids get dressed up in their finest clothes. Some people choose traditional Japanese clothes; others choose fancy Western clothes.

Behold the cuteness:

This boy is holding his chitose ame, a candy for living a long time.

It's not just the cute clothes--it's also the hair, the makeup, the sandals, the socks, the purse. Some of my grown-up Japanese friends told me they hated the tight kimono. But the kids we saw seemed pretty proud.

These are three-year old twins from Osaka.

After posing for me, the little boy wanted to get his picture taken with Ani-san ("big brothers" Max and Alek). I said, okay, but just don't post it on the internet.
By the way, I do always ask before taking the least the ones from the front....


  1. What's the significance of ages 3, 5, and 7? Do they come for all 3? Or if they came for one of those, they're set?

    I'm totally coveting the kimonos... Lovely all the way. My favorite is the blue one with the red sash. Beautiful...

  2. i thought it sounded like a very strange ritual....until i starting thinking about the "rite of passage" in the catholic tradition (first holy communion).

  3. Oh my gosh, I can barely handle the cuteness. Is there any way you could sneak one of those smartly dressed three year olds for me? Please, oh please?