Sunday, May 18, 2008
Years three, five and seven for children in Japan are marked by a special rite of passage, called Shichi Go San, in which boys and girls dress up in kimonos, visit a shrine to receive blessings and pose for photos.
Like wedding dresses, the kimonos and costumes for Shichi Go San are mostly rented. I fell in love with this little outfit, reserved for Shichi Go San, and which I saw in the window of a shop. I wasn't supposed to take photos, but it turned out that the proprietor had taken English classes with my fearsome grandfather back in the day, and soon we were drinking tea and I was snapping pictures.
This little outfit is called a "kimono dress," and has been a trend for the past few years. It is literally a kimono-meeting-a-dress. The waistband on the skirt is made from elastic, while the top is like a regular old kimono.
I inquired as to the price, because I know a little girl turning three this year, who likes pretty dresses. I drank some more tea while the store proprietors tried to find the answer to my unusual request. Regretfully, they told me, the kimono dress would cost nearly $600 if I wanted to take it home, and of course I passed. I'm assuming the little girl's parents will understand.