執筆 上野陽子
2013/11 Up

第53回 七五三を見てみよう!
Vol.53 Let’s take a look at the Shichi-go-san ceremony

How would you explain kazoe-doshi?


* 赤い色の語句の上にマウスカーソルを移動させる(スマホの場合はタップする)と語注が表示されます

Shichi-go-san ceremony is held on a day free of goblins!

November 15 is the day for Shichi-go-san. Parents take their five-year-old sons (three year olds too depending on the region), and three- and seven-year-old daughters to shrines to pray for their future health and growth while showing their appreciation for the child’s development. The 15th of each month used to be called kishukubi, a day free of goblins, and it was said to be a good day for holding all kinds of events, though not wedding ceremonies. Also, November is a month for harvesting, so people celebrate Shichi-go-san with the harvest on the 15th - the day of the full moon on the old lunar calendar.


Shichi-go-san costumes and the original meaning of the celebration

Each Shichi-go-san age used to have a different ceremony and children wore special kimono or clothes for each particular age. The long, thin candy given to children on this day, chitose-ame, also has a special meaning. Let’s take a look at the details.


Three-year-olds: Used to be the ceremony of Kamioki. Children up to the age of three were required to shave their heads in the Edo period. From the age of three, they were allowed to grow their hair.

Girls usually wear hifu (a type of padded vest) with their kimono, and no obi.
Originally boys wore kimono with family crest with an obi and haori vest. These days, however, depending on the region, people put the family crest on the haori and hakama.

3歳 かつての「髪置きの儀」。江戸時代は、3歳までは髪をそる習慣があり、ここから髪を伸ばし始めるようになることに由来する。

Five-year-olds: Used to be the ceremony of Hakamagi. Originally, boys aged five could wear hakama, a formal divided skirt worn by men, for the first time. Usually they wore haori, a kimono coat with the family crest on it, with the hakama. There is also a custom of making the boy stand on a shogi board facing the “lucky” direction.

5歳:かつての「袴儀(はかまぎ)」。元来は男子が袴を着用し始める儀。 通常は紋付きの羽織に袴。吉方を向いて将棋盤の上に立たせる風習もある。

Seven-year-olds: Used to be the ceremony of Obitoki. Girls aged seven replaced the simple cords previously used to tie their kimono with the traditional obi.

They wore yuzen-patterned formal kimono tied with a maruobi made of a broad cloth folded in half.


千歳飴 Chitose-ame

The Chinese characters for chitose-ame represent “thousand-year candy.” This candy is given to children at the Shichi-go-san ceremony. Chitose-ame is a long, thin, red and white candy, which symbolizes healthy growth and longevity. It is put in a long paper bag decorated with a crane and a turtle, which also represent long life in Japan.



Kazoe-doshi is a way of calculating age, in which children are said to be “one” at birth and then they gain a year on each lunar New Year's Day.

日本のキホン トップへ