Japanese women wearing kimonos take selfies at their Coming-of-Age Day celebration ceremony at Toshimaen amusement park in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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Coming-of-Age Day ceremonies held across Japan

27 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.

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Yokohama Arena is filled with new adults during Monday's Coming-of-Age Day ceremony. Photo: AP/Kiichiro Sato

To mark the occasion, women traditionally wear furisode kimono, 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.

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Mickey Mouse entertains attendees during a Coming-of-Age ceremony at Tokyo Disneyland. Photo: AP/Jae C Hong

As always, one of the most popular spots was Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, where more than 2,000 new adults took part in festivities. Young Japanese women posed for photos with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Toshimaen amusement park was another favorite spot.

In Osaka, about 100 new adults climbed the stairs up to the top of the 60-story, 300-meter-high Abeno Harukas building.

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.

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

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27 Comments
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I know it's tradition, but it seems like a huge waste of money for many of these young adults. Actually Mom and Dad! The women pay well over 100,000 to rent the kimono, get their hair fixed up, and then go to the ceremonies! That is a hell of a lot for a ceremony that just says "I am old enough to drink and smoke now!"

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

Nothing is more traditional than having a traditional Japanese ceremony at Disneyland. Lmao!

8 ( +14 / -6 )

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

So, will this ceremony and holiday die off as well? The majority of 18 year old's will still be in high school, and I can hardly imagine "new adults" having this ceremony prior to graduation here!

(BTW the lowering of the age is a ploy by Abe to get more tax money from teenagers who will be able to purchase alcohol and cigarettes then too! Least wise that is what was reported when the law's change was first announced!)

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Good for them. A great opportunity to dress up in beautiful Japanese kimono. Congratulations to them all - long may this unique tradition last!

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Love the pic

I know it's tradition, but it seems like a huge waste of money for many of these young adults. Actually Mom and Dad! The women pay well over 100,000 to rent the kimono, get their hair fixed up, and then go to the ceremonies! That is a hell of a lot for a ceremony that just says "I am old enough to drink and smoke now!"

gotta keep that consuption machine going as much as possible so the gov can turn around and say Abenomics works...

Nothing is more traditional than having a traditional Japanese ceremony at Disneyland. Lmao!

HAHAHAHA!

5 ( +11 / -6 )

If they want to hold this ceremony, why not have it on May 1st or 2nd, and make Golden Week a real week. It would be much better in the spring, nicer weather, etc. For young people living far away from big cities where they attend university, it is a real hassle, go home for the winter break, return to school and then go back home for the Coming of Age ceremony. Also we just finished a week long holiday.

Also if they do change the age and worry about high school students preparing for entrance exams, another reason to move it to May after they have entered school to come back and meet their friends and family!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Time to be rid of this meaningless tradition.I mean you can vote at 18,so aren't you of age then?

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

This "tradition" dates back to 1948, when the government decided to turn an ancient imperial ritual into a national holiday. Which is why the event still centers around listening to some government official drone on about how to be a responsible adult.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Somehow I would think "coning of age", that is, becoming an adult, need not involve Micky Mouse.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Celebrate your adulthood by posing with cartoon characters

8 ( +11 / -3 )

@VinceBlack yeah, I couldn’t agree with you guys more! LOL I mean seriously, who is the genius that thought that celebrating your coming of age at a Disneyland would be a great idea?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Readers, no need for Japan-bashing on this thread. Why don't you just congratulate these new adults?

Ah,this sure brings back memories. I feel very old now and I miss my old friends. A time full of happiness and sadness before heading into a uncertain future and becomes a adult. Now i kinda want to cry. Time to go look up some old photos again.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Snowy parts of Japan celebrate this in summer. They also have the girls and boys festivals later following winter.

Good to see no tales of drunken lads storming the stage at a ceremony while the mayor is droning on at them. That happens most years. I don't blame the lads, it's just that it usually leads to some tiresome "look at the youth of today" noise on the tv.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The amount of money spent does not seem exorbitant, and not unusual, either. Over here, it is not unheard-of for people to spend thousands of dollars on Quinceañera parties, or sweet sixteen parties. Everyone has a good time, and no harm is done, except perhaps to the pocket book of the hapless parents.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Good luck and good fortune to them.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I am glad for all the young people. Wishing them all happiness.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I think it's a beautiful thing, as are these Coming of Age ceremonies in Japan. I don't understand why so many posters here are using it as an opportunity to snipe at the parents, the girls, and the country.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Young people are an automatic target for the disillusioned and cynical. Forgetting that they were once young, themselves and celebrated various events and milestones in their lives.

Congratulations to the young people, our future is in their hands and I wish them every success and happiness.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Good for them.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Yes congrats to them, but the immense amount of money spent just to show you have "come of age" is not worth it!

Fortunately my kids CHOOSE not to spend the money, and I am grateful to them for it, and using common sense as well! They used the money for taking a trip and gaining some "life experience" rather than sitting in a hall listening to some old fart, try and give them advice about "life"!

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Very auspicious occasion and a good reason to celebrate. I can’t imagine it being as adult-like for 18 year-olds from next time onwards tho!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Very nice to see and have attended several myself. In my birth country I missed out on my coming of age which at the time was 21 years but then reduced to 18 years when I was 20 years. We always had a party, cake, new dress/suit.

I guess since officially I never had my coming-of-age I have remained an eternal child.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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

This is very heart-warming. Well done, Japanese youth!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Congrats, people. And a wonderful picture.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Congrats all you 20 somethings. Life is good, live it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Congratulations. It's a beautiful tradition. All the best to the youngsters preparing themselves to serve the nation and the Planet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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