Speakin' Japanese: 7-5-3, Japan’s gala day for children

Speakin' Japanese: 7-5-3, Japan’s gala day for children

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Nov. 15 is Shichigosan (seven-five-three) Day when kids ages 3, 5 and 7 don traditional attire to visit local shrines with their parents for health and prosperity. If you have kids these ages they can participate, too. The following Japanese words and phrases will help you talk about this tradition.

“Kimono wa doko de kariraremasu ka?” = Where can we rent a kimono?
(“doco de” = at where, “kariraremasu” = can rent)

“Shashin wa doko de tore masu ka?” = Where can we take a photo?
(“shashin” = photo, “tore masu” = can take)

“Shashinkan ga asoko ni arimasu.” = A photo studio is located over there.
(“shashinkan” = photo studio, “asoko” = over there)

“Jinja wa doko desuka?” = Where is a shrine?
(“jinja” = shrine)

“Jinja ni iki masu.” = We are going to a shrine.
(“iki” = go)

“Omedeto gozaimasu.” = Congratulations.

“Kawaii desu, ne?” = Isn’t he/she cute?
(“kawaii” = cute)

“Ookiku nari mashita, ne?” = Hasn’t he/she grown a lot?
(“ookiku nari” = grown a lot)

“Okosan wa oikutsu desuka?” = How old is your kid?
(“okosan” = your kid(s), “oikutsu” = how old)

“San-sai desu.” = He/she is three years old.
(“san-sai” = three years old, “issai” = one, “ni-sai” = two, “yon-sai” = four, “go-sai” = five, “roku-sai” = six, “nana-sai” = seven, “hassai” = eight, “kyuu-sai” = nine, “jussai” = ten (years old))

Jinja de chitose ame wo morai mashita.” = He/she was given a long stick of candy at the shrine.
(“chitose ame” = long stick of candy, “morai mashita” = was given) 

“Shashin wo tori masho ka?” = Shall I take your picture?
(“tori masho” = will take)  

WHEN ON OKINAWA –  You can also say it in “Uchinaaguchi” (island dialect) like this:

“Niibichi gusuujisabira.” = Congratulations.

“Kawaiiguaa yannaa.” = He/she is cute.

“Shashin tuinnaa?” = Shall I take your picture?


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