The celebration of Soke Sakagami’s Kiju (77th birthday)
Soke Sakagami and his wife at the celebration party
On February 24th, 2019, Itosu-kai Japan Kanto region group hosted the celebration of Soke Sakagami’s Kiju (77th birthday), and over 50 instructors gathered in this party, held in the restaurant Maple in Yokohama, Japan.
In Japanese tradition, we celebrate one’s 60 years old, 66 years old, 70 years old, 77 years old, 80 years old, 88 years old, 90 years old, 99 years old and 100 years old. 77 years old is especially called “Kiju”. The history of most of those celebrations can trace back to China, but the celebration of Kiju (77 years old) originates in Japan. （In Asian tradition, newborns being considered a year old when they are born. So, he is actually 76 years old in modern age）.
In this ceremony, people gather together and have a party. By the way, featuring color of this ceremony is traditionally purple.
Soke Sakagami and his wife had a speech about their thought of this celebration. Then, Shihan Ichikawa, who has been a long time Soke’s training partner, also talked about his memory with Soke Sakagami from their young days and Itosu-kai. Celebrating his birthday, some instructors sang karaoke song, and we had happy 3 hours’ dinner party.