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While  visiting japan earlier this year (2012) our good friend and president of the Campbelltown-Koshigaya Sister City Cities Association, David Symonds, celebrated his 60th birthday and was surprised with a Kanreki  ceremony presented to him by his Japanese Rotarian mates!

What is  Kanreki I hear some of you ask?

Well, Kanreki is the traditional celebration performed when a man turns 60.


Practiced since the Edo period, the celebrant receives a red cap, chanchanko vest and seat cushion (please see the photo!). In Japanese kana the character kanreki means ‘return’ and ‘calendar’. The traditional Japanese calendar is organised on 60 year cycles and because of this when a man reaches this age (60) he returns to the calendar sign under which he was born and shares the occasion with family and friends …… get it ??? …… well, when a man turns 60 in japan it indicates that he has completed a life cycle and therefore the next cycle will now begin, o.k.?   So ask David!

Arriving at the following ages is also a festive occasion and celebrated accordingly: 70 (koki), 77 (kiju), 80 (sanju), 81 (hanju), 88 (beiju), ninety (sotsuju), 99 (hakuju), 100 (joju), 108 (chaju) and 111 (koju). Interestingly, women typically ignore this event?

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