WHO/WHAT: Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha – Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu celebrates Shichigosan, a custom that originated in the Heian Period (794-1185) among court nobles who celebrated the passage of their children into middle childhood. The ages 3, 5 and 7 are consistent with Japanese numerology, which dictates that odd numbers are lucky — ages 3 and 7 for girls and age 5 for boys.

Over time, this tradition passed to the samurai class who added a number of rituals. Children who were required by custom to have shaven heads until 3 years old — were allowed to grow out their hair in a ritual called kamitoki.

The hakamagi ritual allowed boys of 5 to wear hakama for the first time along with a dagger, while girls of 7 replaced the simple cords they used to tie their kimono with the traditional obi in the obitoki ritual.

WHEN/WHERE: Oct. 19-Nov. 3 at the shrine (1239 Olomea St.) from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

COST: A donation of $50 includes Shinto blessing, Chitose-ame candy, omamori and a gift. Complimentary kimono rental and dressing is offered on the weekends upon request. A $10 donation for the Kimono Preservation Fund will also be requested. Reservations are required. Visit www.e-shrine.org for details and reservations forms, call 841-4755 or email kotohira@hawaiiantel.net.


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