national

Coming-of-Age Day ceremonies held across Japan

24 Comments

New adults attended ceremonies and festive events across Japan on Monday to mark Coming-of-Age Day.

Coming-of-Age Day -- Seijin no Hi (成人の日) -- is held on the second Monday of the year. It is celebrated by those who turned 20 during the previous year or will do so before March 31 this year.

To mark the occasion, women traditionally wear furisode kimono (only single women wear them in Japan), while most young men opt for just regular suits, although some men have been getting more creative in recent years, injecting a bit of color into their outfits.

At Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, hundreds of kimono-clad adults and their families could be seen throughout the day offering prayers for the New Year.

As always, one of the most popular spots was Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, where hundreds of new adults took part in festivities. Young Japanese women posed for photos with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Toshimaen amusement park was another favorite spot.

At Yokohama Arena, around 37,000 new adults attended a ceremony in the morning. There was some commotion during Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi's speech when several new adults (all men) ran toward the stage but they were restrained by security guards, Fuji TV reported.

In what has become an annual event in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures, which were hit by the March 11, 2011 disaster, ceremonies were tinged with sadness as young people remembered their friends who perished in the disaster. Some new adults posed for photos with portraits of deceased classmates. In other areas of Tohoku, parents of children who died and who would have been 20, attended with photos of their daughters wearing kimonos so they could be present in spirit. Some young adults, whose parents died in the disaster, brought photos of their parents to the ceremony.

Similar ceremonies were held Sunday as well as Monday in Hiroshima and Okayama prefectures which were hit by deadly floods and mudslides last summer, and the quake-hit town of Atsuma, Hokkaido.

According to the statistics from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the number of Japanese people aged 20, the legal age of adulthood, on New Year's Day 2019, was 1.25 million, up 20,000 from a year earlier. Of the 1.25 million, 640,000 are men and 610,000 are women.

The age of legal adulthood in Japan will be lowered from 20 to 18 in April 2022 following a Civil Code revision, Kyodo News reported. The country's minimum voting age was also reduced to 18 after a revised election law came into effect in June 2016.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
Login to comment

Coming of age day is one of my favourite ceremonies in Japan, in general its a very special and happy day, but it can also be a very sad day for the parents who have lost a child and they are not there to be part of the celebration.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

From the article, it seems they continue to act like children! In the U.S. 18 year old men can join the army and go fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. In Japan they are still children...and act like it.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Japan could definitely benefit immensely from taking a page from the S Korean play book - mandatory military service for all.

Also, why not make a good use of the laws and arrest these new "adult" idiots who tried rushing the stage.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

There was some commotion during Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi's speech 

Was this some kind of protest? Perhaps against the Mayor's speech? It would be interesting to hear about the motivation of these young people in the news report.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

According to the statistics from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the number of Japanese people aged 20, the legal age of adulthood, on New Year's Day 2019, was 1.25 million

So these are young people that will bear Japanese older people in their shoulder through monthly pension bill.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Being considered an adult at 20 is pathetic! And in my local town last night, a group of these "adults" were arrested after a drunken brawl in the streets!

Japanese 20 year olds are not natured.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I missed attending the ceremony because I was not in Japan when I turned 20 years old. It would be very festive event. Kimono having been worn by women are just beautiful. It must be enjoyable that good old friends are getting together and taking pictures for this event.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

That is a beautiful picture on the roller coaster. Just saying.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why do they put a mosaic on the face of these delinquents! IF they are supposed to be adults, then treat them as such. Even news reports showed some places where guys where literally beating up on one other guy and all the cops and adults had their faces showing but not the "new" adults!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It takes too much money to raise children in Japan. That is one reason Japanese population is falling.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Can enyone else see the touch of irony in the picture - celebrating becoming an adult by going to an amusement park?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Can enyone else see the touch of irony in the picture

Well I thought you were talking about that they were all female.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why do they put a mosaic on the face of these delinquents! IF they are supposed to be adults, then treat them as such. Even news reports showed some places where guys where literally beating up on one other guy and all the cops and adults had their faces showing but not the "new" adults!

If memory serves me, coming of age day celebrants include people who WILL turn 20 before April of the current year. So it’s possible some are still 19 and therefore “minors” although I do agree it’s ridiculous how much minors can get away with here and I can’t wait until the age of majority is lowered to 18. I’ve been groped by men who are clearly adults and know what they’re doing, yet they get 0 punishment because they’re 18-19. Teenagers are treated much too much like children here, and they act a lot more immature as a result.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Why do they put a mosaic on the face of these delinquents! IF they are supposed to be adults, then treat them as such. Even news reports showed some places where guys where literally beating up on one other guy and all the cops and adults had their faces showing but not the "new" adults!

Because Japan has strict personal information and privacy laws and that means you have control over your personal image as well. If you don't consent to it being shown, it can't be. Since I worked in television here I know, but the default stance is just blur the faces unless you want to potentially face a slander charge.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nothing quite says "I'm an adult!" as visiting an amusement park.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ShenjingbingJan. 14  05:13 pm JST

Japan could definitely benefit immensely from taking a page from the S Korean play book - mandatory military service for all.

It needn't be just military service. I would love to see the U.S. adopt this but as national service. You could choose the military or Coast Guard, but you'd also have options of working for a reconstituted CCC, the EPA or working as a volunteer with something like the old VISTA program. Those young adults who had already been accepted to college would have a place held for them after two years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rom the article, it seems they continue to act like children! In the U.S. 18 year old men can join the army and go fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. In Japan they are still children...and act like it.

I love it how always these same commentators come with these comments. There is nothing more naive in the world than US college students. Act like adults in the US even at 20? You must be joking.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We talked to a couple of friends whose daughter celebrated, and they told us just renting the furisode kimono for one day cost more than $3,000. I couldn't believe it that's like buying her a used car and then tossing at the end of the night. What a racket.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We talked to a couple of friends whose daughter celebrated, and they told us just renting the furisode kimono for one day cost more than $3,000. I couldn't believe it that's like buying her a used car and then tossing at the end of the night. What a racket.

I hear you loud and clear. Fortunately my wife, Japanese, said that she still has her kimono that she will have our three daughters wear for their day. Yes $3,000 is a lot of money for one day. What's even worse is in the US with Latino families paying lots more money for their daughter's quinceñera, where a 15 year-old celebrates her adulthood. I remember my sister saying that she didn't want that as it was too much money. Instead, she wanted the money to be used for her college education. She's a wise woman.

If my daughters want that, they can have that, but I told my wife that we might go 50/50 with the kid's government money, minus the exorbitant kimono costs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Because Japan has strict personal information and privacy laws and that means you have control over your personal image as well. 

And I suppose you are going to tell me that the cops in the picture and all the bystanders gave their ok?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

...ceremonies were tinged with sadness as young people remembered their friends who perished in the disaster. Some new adults posed for photos with portraits of deceased classmates. In other areas of Tohoku, parents of children who died and who would have been 20, attended with photos of their daughters wearing kimonos so they could be present in spirit. Some young adults, whose parents died in the disaster, brought photos of their parents to the ceremony.

And people posting here make sour comments about how mandatory military service would do them all good (heard that before), the immaturity of 20 year olds (they're the same everywhere, people) calling them delinquents because a few get drunk or even fewer make a small protest - what's wrong with you people? For most of these young people and their families this is an occasion to celebrate - an important and happy day.

And what about those who never made it, and are remembered by their friends and families as in the quote?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To mark the occasion, women traditionally wear furisode kimono (only single women wear them in Japan)

An explanation of what furisode kimono are would go a long way for readers who don't speak Japanese or know what these are. Otherwise it sounds like only single women in Japan wear kimono. And in fact the wording is wrong anyways, it's not single women, it's unmarried women. Unmarried women with boyfriends will still wear furisode kimono, even though they are not single.

As to what it is, the furisode refers to the long draping sleeves. Married women's kimonos do not have these long drooping sleeves.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just to give people an idea here.....10 different types of Kimonos for women in Japan!

https://www.tsunagujapan.com/10-different-types-of-kimono-for-women/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If my daughters want that, they can have that, but I told my wife that we might go 50/50 with the kid's government money, minus the exorbitant kimono costs.

Government money?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites