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The 7-5-3 Ceremony

Shichi-Go-San or the 7-5-3 Ceremony is a traditional festival day in Japan for three- and seven-year-old girls and three- and five-year-old boys.

The ceremony dates back to a traditional rite of passage from Samurai times and is still continued today by people from all walks of life.

In this weekly blog for students who are learning the Japanese language, one of the Japanese teachers at JOI, Sakude sensei adds her personal viewpoint.

Read the blog to learn Japanese for free online. And listen to the natural spoken Japanese in the video to improve your language skills.











To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.








Do you about 'Shichi Go San'?

It is a Japanese event to celebrate the growth of children of 3,5 and 7 years old and people pay a (devotional) visit to a Shinto shrine. Originally, it was apparently a ceremony for the samurai class. In the past, there were many children who died during infancy so it was meant to show appreciation for and report that they had safely grown.

In present times, the common way to celebrate is for people to take photos in photograph studios and the like, visit shrines, and gather the family around to celebrate. In the old days people dressed in kimonos but now those in Western dress have been increasing. In our family, when it was my oldest daughter's time, we took pictures prior to the event and went to the shrine on a different day. And the children were really pleased to receive red and white candy sticks at the shrine. Red and white candy sticks (or Chitose Ame) are long candy sticks that are infused with a prayer for longevity.

This year, our oldest son is going to be 5 years old. Usually, people go to the shrines in October or November so it is still some time away, but I think I will prepare early.

Do you have any events in your country to celebrate children growing up?

お参(まい)り pay a (devotional) visit to a Shinto shrine

もともとは Originally

武家(ぶけ) the samurai class; 《born into》 a warrior family

儀式(ぎしき) a ceremony

乳児(にゅうじ) an infant, a baby (at the breast)

和装(わそう) dressed in (a) kimono

洋装(ようそう) Western dress

前撮(まえど)り taking pictures prior to the event

千歳飴(ちとせあめ) a long stick of red and white candy sold at a festival for children of three, five and seven years of age.

願(ねが)いを込(こ)める  cross your fingers


Hajimemashite! I am Sakude Emi. I live in Osaka, Japan's second largest city, with my daughters, son and my Brazilian husband. My hobby is cooking, especially dishes from around the world.

My husband and I often talk about how much misunderstanding there is in the world between individuals and between nations. We feel it is these misunderstandings that block smooth human relations. I would like to do what I can to unravel these knots of misunderstanding.

If there is anything you'd like to ask me, even if it's not connected to learning Japanese, please feel free. Let's do our best together. Ganbarou

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  • Wincent Wednesday, 06 June 2018

    I enjoy the videos of this website. They are useful and helpful for me to learn Japanese language as well as Japanese culture. Excellent.

    By the way, I note that the first sentence of the English version may be :

    Do you know about 'Shichi Go San'? (the word "know" i.e. 知(し)っています should be there).

    Thank you.

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