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What does a Birthday in Japan encompass? 2009/3/2 09:03
I am writing a short paper for my sociology class, and we have to describe a childhood memory, and then describe it again as it had happened in another society. Is anybody able to decribe what a Japanese birthday looks like compared to a wetern birthday (for a child of 5-6 yrs)? Who is involved, is there a gift exchange, and any other customs that are held? Thank-you!
by Danielle Gelhorn (guest)  

. 2009/3/2 17:45
Gifts, cake with candles, blowing them off while people sing "Happy Birthday to You," all that stuff is normal for a 5-6 year old in Japan.

Birthdays are quite universal. Why don't you choose something that might be more unique to your culture, and then compare it with the other country?
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/3/3 03:30
Thanks that's all I needed to know! I had understood they were different but thank you for clearing that up.
by danielle Gelhorn (guest) rate this post as useful

Birthday in Japan 2009/3/3 03:50
Yes, birthdays are quite universal and in Japan, there is a cake and gifts.

But Girls Day is today (tomorrow). That's different. Girls Day 3/3 and Boys Day 5/5 are really different in a special sense.

This customs may be disappearing but they call this Shichi-Go-San or 7-5-3.

Girls 3 or 7 dress up in elaborate kimonos and visit Shinto Shrines for special Blessing. Boys 5 also visit dress in samurai looking hakama. They then have a great family photo sessions together. After the blessing and photo session, they get their presents, usually specially packed long bag of traditional Japanese sweets.

Girls also decorate the doll thrones called "Ohina sama."

Rather than go into details, you can get more details about Shichi-go-san on

by chadpeterson rate this post as useful

??? 2009/3/3 08:53
Except that Shichi-go-san is celebrated in November with children being dressed up and taken to shrines- I was under the impression that it was a completely separate celebration to the March Doll's festival and May Children's day- someone correct me if I'm wrong...
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

Shichi Go San and Girls Day 2009/3/3 09:00

You're right. After I wrote it I realized that Shichi go san is in November and Girls day in March and Boys Day (now Children's day) in May.

Sorry for my mix up. But Birthdays are always on the same day!

Thanks for the correction.

by chadpeterson rate this post as useful

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