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