All over Japan, parents and their small children have been visiting local Shinto shrines to give thanks for their children's good health, and to pray for future blessings.
GV: Parents arrive with children at the Meiji-Jingu Shinto Shrine, Children dressed in national costumes. (2 shots
CU: Japanese boy dressed in suit.
CU: Small girl wearing Kimono arrives with parents. (2 shots)
SV: Two small boys wearing traditional hakama or pleated trousers.
SV: Boy dressed in national costume arrives at the shrine with his mother, PAN UP TO shrine.
CU: Girl wearing black costume with hat. (2 shots)
CU: Father carrying young daughter wearing Kimono and people gathered outside shrine (2 shots)
CU: Small child praying at shrine and then leaving with her parents. (2 shots)
SV: Children with parents, Photographer taking pictures of his daughter, and families leaving the shrine. (3 shots)
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Background: All over Japan, parents and their small children have been visiting local Shinto shrines to give thanks for their children's good health, and to pray for future blessings. They were celebrating Shichi-go-san, which means Seven-five-three, the ages of the youngsters who attended the ceremony.
SYNOPSIS: One of the popular shrines used for the Festival is the Meiji-Jingo Shinto Shrine, where hundreds of parents brought their children. All were dressed for the occasion, with small girls wearing the traditional kimono. In former days, their hair was worn up for the first time, or they were allowed to wear their first obi, or sash.
The boys too wear national costume, including the Hakama or pleated trousers. The costumes can cost as much as half a million yen - or around two thousand American dollars, although not all the youngsters were dressed so expensively.
Whether wearing traditional dress or a smart western suit the ceremonies are taken very seriously be the small celebrants and by proud parents who often take photographs to record their child's important day.