A traditional ceremony for children is catching on among pet owners in Japan, where dogs and cats are receiving ever more attention amid the nation’s plummeting birth rates.
Natsuki Aoki took her two Chihuahuas on a plane ride to Tokyo from the western city of Hiroshima so her fur babies could get a special blessing.
The Zama Shrine, which dates back to the 6th century and lies about 35 kilometres south-west of Tokyo, established a specific prayer site for pets in 2012. It now hosts Shichi-Go-San rituals where pet parents can pray for the health and happiness of their animals.
When a person chooses to have a “family”, they have every right to choose whether they want human members, biological or adopted, or animal members. It is a choice and it is all about whom we want to take under our wing and love. That should be the concept of “family”!
Photo credit: Reuters