Inu no Hi – A Shrine Visit for Pregnant Women It is said that of all the animals, dogs have relatively easy and smooth pregnancies. Therefore, on Inu no Hi (戌の日, literally “day of the dog”) Japanese women go to a shrine during the 5th month of pregnancy to pray to help get her through the remainder of her pregnancy and to have a safe delivery.
Okuizome – An Elaborate Feast for Baby We recently celebrated o-kuizome (お食い初め), baby’s first meal. It is done in hopes that a baby will have no difficulty in procuring food in his/her lifetime. Back in the day, extended relatives and family friendLibrarys were invited to attend a baby’s o-kuizome. In recent days, it’s done just with parents and grandparents. Some modern families now even conduct o-kuizome as an event just for parents and baby.
O-Miya Mairi – Taking Baby to a Shrine O-miya mairi (お宮参り) is a performed at a shrine to give thanks for a baby’s first month of life. When o-miya mairi is done with in-laws and parents, it is customary for the paternal grandmother to hold the new baby, as the mother is believed to be weak after childbirth. My in-laws were unable to return to Tokyo in March; it was simply my husband and I to celebrate this occasion. Once again, we headed to Kameido Tenjin, but this time with baby in tow.
O-Shichiya & Meimei-shiki – Japanese Baby Naming Tradition In Japan, a Register of Birth (出生届, shussei todoke) must be submitted by the time a baby is 14 days old. By this time, a baby’s name must be decided. Before the Register of Birth is submitted and a baby’s name formally registered at a municipal office, it is tradition in Japan to have a naming ceremony, meimei-shiki, (命名式) during o-shichiya (お七夜), a baby’s 7th night of life.