Traditional kimono pictures for Shichigosan (7-5-3)

Written by on November 20, 2009 in Life and Family, My Family Photos, Photo Posts with 4 Comments

In November of the year when daughters in Japan turn seven, it’s a tradition for their families to dress them in kimonos and take them to a shrine. The year of their third birthday is also marked, and boys are especially honored in the fifth year. The Japanese shorthand for the tradition is 753 (shichigosan).

Our twins turned seven this year. We didn’t take them to a shrine, although our friends invited us to bring them to a church service just for kids. Then we took  them to a photo studio that specializes in kimono pictures. This video documents that experience.

In recent years, the Japanese have added the tradition of dressing their daughters in “princess” dresses as well. Sure, it’s another Western incursion, but we went for the whole nine yards. We were there for three hours. I took 200+ pictures, more than one per minute. I edited those down to 45 for this video.

I recommend watching in HD, or download the video from YouTube for (by far) the best results. BTW, here is a photo I took of Reia on the same occasion two years ago.

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About the Author

About the Author: Andy Gray is a writer and photographer living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and working with Alongsiders International. You can find him puttering around the streets of Phnom Penh on his Suzuki Viva 125, running stoplights and driving on the wrong side of the road or on the sidewalks like a local. If you see him in a coffee shop, he'll be the one typing and deleting the same line over and over again. .


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  • Isabelle

    Oh my… the twins are already seven! Time passes so quickly. I read that this experience lasted for 3 hours. This must require a lot of patience for the kids, I guess. Anyway, this is an experience they will remenber all their lives.
    They are two cute little princesses.

  • Yes, we did it for the memories. How many times in your life do you get to be celebrated with so much attention? The next time for them to wear kimonos and be the center of attention is when they turn 20, assuming we’re in Japan then.

  • Isabelle

    Ah yes, for their coming of age. That’s an important day too, indeed!

  • Great picture. They are cutttteeeeee!