Babies ink-stamped in traditional ritual

Babies ink-stamped in traditional ritual

Babies have been stamped with ink on the forehead in a traditional ritual for their healthy growth at a Shinto shrine in Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo.

The event which began at Fujitake shrine in Tatebayashi city on Wednesday dates back about 350 years. The babies' foreheads are marked with a mallet-shaped stamp so that they would grow up strong and healthy.

Despite her parents' desire for their daughter, a 5-month-old girl began to cry, apparently scared by what was happening.

A mother who had been stamped at the shrine herself brought her 4-month-old son.

About 1,000 babies are expected to visit the shrine on Wednesday and Thursday.