Shichigosan Ceremony

Shichigosan Mairi

Special Celebration for Children Ages 7 5 & 3

Special Shinto Ceremony for children, boys ages 3 and 5, girls ages 3 and 7......this very important life-cycle event is one of the most popular in Japan...when parents take their children who are dressed in their best clothes (hare-gi) to the local shrine to offer gratitude and pray for continued safe growth and development.

Children receive the special 7-5-3 OMAMORI/ amulet life event and the CHITOSE AME/ long-life candy in a colorful bag with many special images on it...this makes the very happy childhood memory.

Shichigosan originated in the Heian-era ( 8th century). The numbers 3, 5 and 7 have special significance in Shinto and relate to connection to life giving forces.

Also, before the development of pediatric medicine many children did not survive infancy.

When children grew to sturdy 3 year olds, parents celebrated their healthy happy life. Also infants at that time had a hair style that involved shaving (the thinking was to develop thicker stronger hair). At age 3 hair style was changed form infant to toddler style so there was an important rite of passage called "Kami-oki".

At age 5 a boy would wear the hakama (special pants like garment) for the first time---this rite of passage was called "Hakama-gi".

Children wore the soft obi/sash over to hold their kimono. At age 7 a young girl would have developed a healthy, growing and steady body so would exchange the soft sash of childhood for the wider and stiffer and more adult obi…that rite of passage was known as "Obi-toki".

Shichigosan is the ceremony to celebrate and give gratitude for healthy growth and pray for further happiness, safe growth and development.

Children and family visit the local Shinto shrine and receive ceremony and Omamori / special amulet and Chitose ame/ 1000 years candy- signifying long life.

Originally Shichigosan-mairi was celebrated around each child's birthday. In the Edo-era / 18th century the Shogun: Tsunayoshi Tokugawa celebrated his son's Birthday on November 15. Samurai families began to celebrate their own children's 7-5-3 Mairi on the same day. Gradually this timing spread throughout society.

In the modern era Shichigosan is November 15, and people usually make Shichigosan-mairi in October or November.

Tsubaki America Grand Shrine can conduct Shichigosan-mairi (ceremony) any time during the year as in olden times.

This practice for us developed because of situation where Grandparents living afar would visit and want to participate in such an important life event…or perhaps owing to business or military commitments Dad is available at other times of the year or whole family visit Tsubaki America Grand Shrine from afar during summer vacation or many other such situations.

Tsubaki Jinja exists to support family's love and wish for Shichigosan ceremony , so we welcome them at any time.