Thursday, February 23, 2012

百日祝い 100 Days Celebration

Earlier on American Mishima, we reported last November of 2011 how Tina and I were blessed to bring little Mia Naoko Rosas into this world. As such as our love for  all things Japanese, we had chosen to raise our daughter in our adoptive traditions of Shinto and the Buddhist Temple. Being that we ourseleves are not Nihon-jin or live in Japan, we are quite aware of the cultural challenges that are in store for us but for now we would not concern ourselves with such issues and instead focus on our child’s well being and spiritual foundation so that she may have a life of happiness and success. For this we would plan for two important life cycle ceremonies covering both Shinto and Buddhism.

In Japan there are lesser known rituals that take place within the first seven days after birth. Of course, we were not aware of them largely because we did not grow up with them. But not to worry. Our first mission was to take our little girl to the only Shinto Shrine available to us for the Hatsumiyamairi or known as the O-Miya mairi.お宮参りwhich is done for girls on the baby’s 32nd day of life. We accomplished last December at the Grand Tsubaki Shrine of North America in Granite Falls Washington. (See Hatsumiyamairi - Babys First Shrine Visit).

In accordance with Buddhist tradition we gathered both immediate family and a small group of close friends to join us for what is known as the is O-Kuizomeお食い初め(Hyakunichi iwai百日祝い), 100 Days Blessing. It is performed on the 100th day after baby birth for its happiness and prosperity. This was done on February 14th, 2012 at the Los Angeles Koyasan Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo with retired Bishop Emertus Taisen Miyata before family and friends. Given the Temple’s aging congregation and declining attendance, Hyakunichi Iwai had not been performed for some time. For this we were fortunate to have retired Miyata Sensei presiding over the blessing of a new life and perhaps new hope for the temple which itself is about to celebrate it's 100 year anniversary of it's founding in Los Angeles.

Now twenty years ago back when I was a Neo-Pagan, the idea of doing a non-Catholic ceremony with my father was out of the question. But that was then and this is now. For this child we did the honorable thing to do and asked my father to attend which we were happy to have both my parents and my dear aunt Irma in attendance. As with the earlier Hatsumiyamairi, Mia was blessed in a Japanese way thus completing the first two important life cycle ceremonies before Shichi-Go-San. All of these ritual ceremonies are for receiving baby's appreciation to nature, and expectation of its peace, happiness and prosperity.
As parents, we do this out of love and not out of obligation or blind adherence to traditions we may not fully grasp. We are well aware of what potential problems we will face particularly when Mia is of school age dealing with Judeo-Christians who may question or attempt invalidate our motives as parents. Life is full of challenges. If there is one thing our spirituality may have in common with our critics is the knowledge that a spiritual framework to build a good moral code and appreciation for the divine in nature is better than sending a child through life aboard a rudderless ship to their own devices. There, perhaps we may agree upon.

While this might be for everyone regardless of ancestry, we do this so our child has a solid if not unique spiritual foundation and a successful life she may one day have with the knowledge that her parents love her very much.
The Rosas Clan
In Gassho


  1. I think it is great that you did this for your baby. I really respect that. I truly hope you can travel to Japan some day. It is such a nice place and really is everything I think you imagine it to be. The people are friendly, the towns and cities are relatively clean, and so many beautiful temples and shrines.

    By the way, how often do you go to Koyasan? Do you attend regular services? Thanks. Jon.

  2. ペテ-サン,
    どもありがとう ございます!

  3. Jon-san,
    どもありがとう ございます! It is been a life long dream to visit Japan and popssibly even live there. We hope to find a way in 2013 so we can honeymoon and finish my ongoing novel The Setting Sun which has been on hold for a year largely in part because I need to go see Hakone for myself to do the story justice. I am currently seeking a producer and backing for my current play Tamashi no Soba -aka Soba for the Soul which is a fictional story based upon the rumor of a famous lost member of the Shinsengumi in Manchuria. We attend the Koayasan for every monthly Goma Fire ritual usually the last sunday of the month and every major service. We used to attend weekly but with no attending sensei we mostly do our rites at home at our Butsudan. We will there this Sunday at 1PM for Goma. Say hello if you choose to attend. We would very much like to meet you in person.

  4. Thank you. Good luck with you future goals.