Birthdays

are not much observed in Japan, except that rice mixed with red beans is eaten on the auspicious day. All the little girls celebrate their yearly holiday on the 3rd March, and the little boys on the 5th May, as explained in the Article on CHILDREN. From another point of view, the 1st January may be considered the universal birthday; for the Japanese do not wait till the actual anniversary of birth has come round to call a person a year older, but date the addition to his age from the New Year, as already explained on page 12. The sixty-first birthday is the only one about which much fuss is made. This is because the old man or woman, having lived through one revolution of the sexagenary cycle, then begins a second round, which is in itself an extraordinary event; for the Japanese reckon youth to last from birth to the age of twenty, middle age from twenty to forty, and old age from fort), to sixty. This last term corresponds to the Psalmist's "three score and ten," as the natural limit of human existence.