In the Kansai region - Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe - when girls and boys turn thirteen, they go to a temple or shrine with their families to pray in a simple ceremony known as "Ju San Mairi," often on March 13.
"Ju San Mairi" literally means "thirteen years old visit" (a temple or shrine).
The stated purpose of the ceremony - visiting the shrine and praying, and then lunch out with the family afterwards - is to pray for wisdom and good fortune.
Moreover, though, until the second half of the 20th century, the period between childhood and adulthood was fraught with danger. Illness was common, and death at that age was not infrequent.
In Kyoto, many head to Horinji Temple in Arashiyama.
Dress ranged from jeans to kimono.
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Thursday, April 07, 2011