Baby Milestones

O-Miya Mairi – Taking Baby to a Shrine

April 8, 2017

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.

 

babykaiju omiyamairi family photoshoot

Before we went to the shrine, we stopped off at a photo studio for a professional family portrait. Photos studios are pricey, but the hospital where I gave birth included in my discharge gift package vouchers for a local studio to be used to document several of baby’s upcoming life events.

 

 

 

The photo studio also included free rental of the kimono. We had the option of taking the kimono or other ceremonial dress to Kameido Tenjin. However, we opted not to borrow either.

 

 

 

 

After a stressful first month with baby, doing my makeup, getting dressed, and professionally photographed was a very pleasant distraction from the hardships that I encountered. Not to mention that early March still had winter-like temperatures, so it was also an opportunity to wear my fabulous cashmere cape.

 

 

 

 

 

The fee for o-miya mairi blessing at Kameido Tenjin is 5,000 yen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I find it so comical. I was told repeatedly not to go outside with baby for at least a month, yet there are several Japanese ceremonies to be done in the first month of life. And each ceremony introduces the baby to many people.

I’m just going outside to walk around the river, which is seen as potentially dangerous to baby’s health. However, all these Japanese customs have me exposing a baby who hasn’t even been immunized yet to all kinds of people and no one bats an eye.

O-Miya Mairi – Taking Baby to a Shrine

Check out other Japanese Celebrations for Baby:

Okuizome – An Elaborate Feast for Baby

O-Shichiya & Meimei-shiki – Japanese Baby Naming Tradition

Inu no Hi – A Shrine Visit for Pregnant Women

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