7-5-3 – traditional celebration and rite of passage for children

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

7-5-3 – traditional celebration and rite of passage for children

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Okinawa

In the month of November, Japanese shrines and temples are busy with children in beautiful traditional attire visiting with their proud parents who you’ll see snapping plenty of photos. This month is when families in Japan celebrate “shichigosan” (seven-five-three), a traditional celebration and rite of passage in the country. In order to ward off evil spirits and wish for a long and healthy life, tradition says girls ages 3 and 7 and boys at age 5 should visit the temple or shrine on Nov. 15. Shichigosan is not a national holiday, so you’ll find that the entire month of November shrines and temples will be host to many children.


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