Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Directly after the ceremony, the girls now have their presents - a special '1000 years' candy, a twirly thingy (what ARE they called?),a cut-paper shrine object and a few more bits and pieces. November is also chrysanthemum season, the Japanese national flower, so the shrines are full of beautiful, huge blooms as well.

With us, and above in the shrine wearing the black hat, is my Again bar English student Mr Ikenaga, who is a priest at this shrine. I think Amy was a bit dumbfounded to hear him intone all the complicated ancient Japanese prayers, then turn around and speak to her in English!

Kanji couldn't make it due to work - so we hurried back to the gasoline stand so he and Jiichan could see them. By this time Amy was very tired - the sandals hurt her feet, and she found the obi (belt) very tight and uncomfortable.

Traditionally, girls first start to wear a belt at age seven, before that they just tie the kimono with cords, and wear a jacket over it like Lena has on. Shichi-go-san three year old girls and boys, who from this age stop having their hair shaved and start to grow it long; five year old boys, who at this age start to wear hakama (the trousers the priest has on) and seven year old girls start to wear the obi.

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