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A Caucasian father and Japanese mother pose with their children in formal kimono
Family Celebrations
Family Celebrations
  1. Yakudoshi and Kanreki in Hawaii
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Yakudoshi and Kanreki in Hawaii
When people their native country for a new place, they bring their traditions with them. This is true of two Japanese rituals that are observed in Hawaii, where there is a large Japanese American community. Yaku means “calamity” and doshi means “year.” The most critical year for a man is the year he turns 42, because the numbers 4 and 2 (shi and-ni) are translated as death. Since the Japanese believe a child is a year old at the time of birth, a yakudoshi must be held before a man’s 41st birthday. For women, the yakudoshi years are 18 and 32. In Hawaii, many Japanese Americans, and others as well, celebrate these birthdays with a party to ward off bad luck. The birthday person wears red so he or she will have good health and a long life. Kanreki is a celebration held on a man’s 60th birthday. Kan means "return" and reki means "calendar." At 60, according to the Chinese zodiac, a person has returned to the calendar sign under which the person was born. At a kanreki, the honoree wears a red vest, an item of clothing that is usually worn by babies, to signify that the person is beginning his or her life all over again.
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