Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shichi Go San

Shichi Go San(七五三:The Seven-Five-Three Festival) is a traditional event to celebrate children's growth and pray for their future good health. It comes from the ancient three events including obitoki(帯解), hakamagi(袴着) and kamioki(髪置) held on the 15th day of the 11th month in the early Edo Period.

Now we can see boys and girls in formal dress such as kimono taken by parents to a shrine around November 15th.

Kamioki(髪置) was a event that 3-year-old girls (and boys in many areas) grew their hair out from this day.
The girls tie flat sash attached to kimono instead of obi.
Now 3-year-old girls wear hifu(被布) on kimono at Shichi Go San. Originally, hifu was a kind of jackets that is put on over kimono for men.

Tanmono (roll of cloth) for kimono is normally about 36 centimeters wide and about 11 meters long. Generally, kimono for kids 3 and under have one back body piece and kimono for children over 3 years and adults have two back body pieces.

Hakamagi(袴着) was a custom done by the families of warriors for 5-year-old boys.  They wear kimono, formal men's divided skirt called hakama(袴) and a coat called haori(羽織).

Obitoki(帯解) was a custom done by the families of commoners for 7-year-old girls. From this day, they started to put on obi(sash) in place of cloth bands.

kimono, gold-brocaded obi (帯, kimono sash), pink tie-dyed obiage (帯揚げ, obi sash), pink obijime (帯締め, decorative string used to hold a kimono sash in place), red shigokiobi(しごき帯, soft cloth sash)

The bottom of kimonos used to drag along the ground. Shigokiobi was used to adjust their length when women went out in the Edo Period. Now it's used in an ornamental fashion.
In addition, hakoseko(筥迫) is tucked between collars. Hakoseko is a take-along box-shaped purse for women.

七五三のつるし飾り デザイン・制作 田辺水扇
"hanging ornament for Shichi Go San" designed by Suisen Tanabe

Akira Naito ed.,Shiki-no-Wa-no-Tsurushikazari,(Tokyo:Boutique-Sha,2003),P.4


  1. Hello,
    I'm one of your followers, a new blogger in bloggerland. I read your posts with great interest, because I'am trying to built an miniature (1:12 scale) Japanese teahouse for a friend. I will do that as realistic as possible. For that I hope for good information on the internet, but it's difficult to find. On that way I found your blog and read everything about the kimono's and also the other posts.
    Did you use fabric or (origami)paper for the kimono's? The fabric with Japanese designs, the right patterns, espacially the miniature fabric can not be found here in Holland of course! What a pity!!
    I will thank you very much for the explanation of the kimono's above.

  2. Thank you, Ilona.
    I use fabric for the kimono's. Miniature kimono sewing books and Japanese dollhouse books are available in Japan, but it's difficult to find them overseas.
    Fabrics with Japanese designs are available on the site "Fabric tales- Japanese Fabrics."
    This site sends items overseas.

  3. I am pleased to have found your blog! These are wonderful images. If interested, I welcome you to visit my blog documenting a year in Japan in 1953-54. Today I have posted several photographs of children at a Shichi-go-san festival in Kobe. I look forward to reading more of your blog. Thank you!