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Goin’ Japanesque!

Shichigosan, a coded tradition 753

Oooh, pretty! But why aren’t there any sizes for adults?

If you’re pretty familiar with kanji, you can see the banner hanging from the ceiling that tells 3 numbers: seven, five, and three. Are those some secret coupon code for discounts? Well, I wish they were .

This is one of many traditions in Japan that marks the highlight of a person’s early childhood, celebrating their safe and steady growth. This is called “shichi-go-san,” which directly says the three numbers.

This tradition started way back in the Muromachi period (14th to late 16th century), and spread amongst the people in the Edo period (17th century to around 19th century) originating from the Kanto area to all over Japan.

Back then, the death rate of infants used to be significantly high, so people were very grateful to see their child to be grown even to the young age of 7. Coincidently, it happens to be the lucky number we all know. I wonder if they considered it to be lucky as well?

Boys are celebrated when they reach 3 and 5, and the girls 3 and 7. That’s why the picture shows only children-sized kimonos, for girls around the age of 7. You can also see the kimono for 5 year old boys on the left corner of the picture. Every year around November 15th, the parents take their 3, 5, and 7 year old children to a shrine or temple, and have them blessed. [margin_60b]

Shichi-go-san (しち ご さん) (七五三)


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