Posted by: instanthausfrau | November 19, 2007

Moon – San

Shichi Go San at the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America

I can’t believe she’s three. How did that happen?

It’s been a busy week. Moon’s November birthday let her squeak by in joining the ranks of Japanese families taking part in the Shici-Go-San festivities at the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America this weekend. The ceremony (honoring 7 year old girls, 5 year old boys, and 3 year olds of both genders. The name can be translated as seven-five-three) calls for the protection and care of the children by the shrine’s resident spirits. They also get candy. You can guess what Moon feels is the important part of all this. But not to worry; it’s “long-life” candy so it must be good for her (and like many traditional Japanese sweets, it tastes something like you would imagine sweet chalk to taste. If you have been to a traditional tea ceremony, you know what I mean).

And as I look at this picture of a blond-haired blue-eyed girl with a Japanese last name, I can’t help but marvel at what we consider so different about one another in the world. My husband’s grandfather was pulled from college and held in an internment camp for Japanese-American citizens during World War II. A Quaker college got him out, and won his conversion to the Quaker faith in doing so. When the camps were ended, he and his new wife ran something of a halfway house for others who were trying to rejoin American society and figure out where they belonged in it all. Once he finished Medical School, the US Army drafted him and he served as a medical doctor for the troops in Europe. He died of cancer before I ever met him, so of course he’s never seen this little girl who seems more grown up by the minute. But I can’t help but wonder what he’d think, or how she would have been classified back when our government was so intent to do so.



  1. By blood quantum she’d have been considered Japanese.

    There’s a number of people at my work who identify as Native American who have that much or less native ‘blood’ in them…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: