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Young Japanese celebrate Coming-of-Age Day under COVID's shadow

43 Comments
By Issei Kato

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43 Comments
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Mayor Fumiko, you are moronic and should be ashamed. Damn these people make me angry

14 ( +34 / -20 )

A recipe for a coming castastrophe.

14 ( +32 / -18 )

I agree Septim.

Utterly ridiculous thing to do.

6 ( +25 / -19 )

One mayor who didn't bow to the fear-mongering and panic. Good on her.

-26 ( +16 / -42 )

Article: "sat seats apart"

Photo: sitting next to one another

29 ( +35 / -6 )

We celebrated our "Second Becoming of Age." Made a chicken soba noodle lunch. We then played Taiko drums on the iPad and dancer and sung a song. All without leaving the dining room.

-12 ( +11 / -23 )

Maturity comes with this age and also responsibility. You must learn all these now with a lot of perseverance. Wishing these young people with a lifetime of happiness, unconditional love and success.

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

It is always nice to see young women wearing beautiful kimono. If you have three daughters, you will go broke.

-4 ( +16 / -20 )

"I decided to carry out today's ceremonies as I strongly hoped everyone takes part in celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime milestone,"

Well, while I'm glad Mayor Hayashi wanted the young people to have a good time (I doubt he did it for such selfless reasons), I sure hope he doesn't pull a "Wasn't me!" when we hear about some of these people having caught Covid-19. My city held a ceremony, split into morning and afternoon, against the will of the people here. I saw a bunch of young men and women in crowds around the main station at about noon, almost none wearing masks (zero of the women, a couple of the men), all hugging each other and taking selfies.

It's unfortunate that this happened for their day, but the most important thing is that they and their families live to tell about it.

13 ( +22 / -9 )

Picasso said "We are all born children, the problem is how to stay one!"

Most Kimono are hired, but still expensive.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Could this not have been postponed? It couldn’t be pushed back a few months?

Oh right it’s tradition. Has to be now. Can’t be changed.

16 ( +23 / -7 )

Interesting comments. Every year at this time the comments about coming of age day are always the same. It is stupid , it cost too much money etc. This year it is corona. Of course, they forgot to read the following:

"in a message read out to attendees who had to abide with anti-infection measures.

Participants wore face masks, had their temperature checks and were asked just to listen to the national anthem, instead of singing it out loud."

-10 ( +12 / -22 )

If you have three daughters, you will go broke.

I thought it was three sons??? In any case, I hope these young persons can overcome the current situation and responsibly enter adulthood.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

Congratulations. This will be an unforgettable coming of age day for all, no matter how it was celebrated.

Wishing them all good health, happiness and success in whatever they decide to do

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

Lt. Winters

Interesting comments. Every year at this time the comments about coming of age day are always the same. It is stupid , it cost too much money etc. This year it is corona. Of course, they forgot to read the following:

"in a message read out to attendees who had to abide with anti-infection measures.

Participants wore face masks, had their temperature checks and were asked just to listen to the national anthem, instead of singing it out loud."

Masks alone do not prevent the infection from spreading, a mere temperature check tells nothing, as you could be spreading covid-19 even as an asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic carrier. The point is, all kinds of events where people are gathering together should be postponed or cancelled for now. The coming of age ceremony could be held next autumn, for example, when the youngsters could have beautiful momiji to back their photos and beautiful kimonos.

And even if some countries are still ignorant and arrogant enough to organise such events, I'm happy to say that e.g. in my native country no events are currently organised, and no events/gatherings of more than 5 people are allowed. Just because someone else does something wrong somewhere else, does not erase the wrong-doing and non-logical behaviour here.

-18 ( +5 / -23 )

For the Girls and their parents it is a very very big event!

And I fully support the decision of the Mayor of Yokohama, especially because preventions are also done.

Let's forget the Virus for today and let this young ladies enjoy one of their precious moments in their life.

Sooner or later the Virus will be gone, but turn 20, is only once in your life!

-18 ( +7 / -25 )

YAIZU, Shizuoka -- A drive-in coming-of-age ceremony was held in this central Japan city on Jan. 10.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Such a beautiful tradition that can't be stopped.

-9 ( +11 / -20 )

@Reckless

*Such a beautiful tradition that can't be stopped.*

I 100% agree!

Can't be stopped and should not be stopped!

-17 ( +11 / -28 )

Only people who never want, will or have intergrate in the Japanese life and its culture and traditions, call for stopping this wonderful tradition.

-19 ( +7 / -26 )

Monty

Only people who never want, will or have intergrate in the Japanese life and its culture and traditions, call for stopping this wonderful tradition.

There's a huge difference between stopping and postponing.

-14 ( +9 / -23 )

Interesting comments. Every year at this time the comments about coming of age day are always the same. It is stupid , it cost too much money etc. This year it is corona. Of course, they forgot to read the following:

"in a message read out to attendees who had to abide with anti-infection measures.

Participants wore face masks, had their temperature checks and were asked just to listen to the national anthem, instead of singing it out loud."

These people have a love hate relationship with Japan. They’re always gonna find something to point their fingers at. But... they could’ve postponed this one. There’s a pandemic and a state of emergency going on now.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

A lot of doomsayers here.

It seems like it was a controlled environment & all participants followed protocol

-11 ( +11 / -22 )

Two beautiful Roses

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Why are there so many negative votes on the comments for this seemingly innocuous national news story...?

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Absolute stupidity, mmmm I'm 20 in the middle of a pandemic that my age group is getting. So I will dress up and congeal with others the same age! We can be together in a hospital ward with our parents. Where's my kimono now? Was never going to wear it again so I like this hospital gown. Absolutely madness for the sake of tradition, might want to rethink that.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

take Away the most important event in young people’s whole life development from child to adult, (even with severe restrictions enforced to prevent transmission/infection of SARS-Cov-2) is robbing them of the rest of their life.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

opting instead to offer mayors' congratulatory remarks online.

I’m sure all the 20-year-olds are rushing to their iPhones to hear that.

I strongly hoped everyone takes part in celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime milestone," said Mayor Fumiko Hayashi.

Not bowing to the fear; probably not going to care about anyone in a covid-19 ward either.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Snowy parts of Japan have seijinshiki in summer. They also have the boys and girls festivals a month late, not 3/3 and 5/5. These things don't have to be on a certain day.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

"I decided to carry out today's ceremonies as I strongly hoped everyone takes part in celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime milestone,"

Typical rigid thinking.

Maybe the Mayor didn't get the memo about the current SoE either. By holding the ceremony, the mayor has forced goodness knows how many people to unnecessarily take public transport and travel across the city to attend. The seating plan also clearly breaks social distancing protocol too - there's no way people are 2m apart there.

Why are we so beholden to arbitrary dates on a calendar? Why not postpone it until autumn, and promise to have an extra special ceremony if the situation has improved enough?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I'm doubtful of the validity of this public holiday, seeking some review & reform on it.

First, the definition of "coming of age" (CoA) and qualification varies among prefectures or regions. In some places, adult means full age of 20 (after your 20th birthday) while in others, the event invitation is sent to anyone expecting the 20th birthday during that year. When living away from my hometown address with the parents, I received the invitation letters twice. The individual CoA public event is not compulsory, nor standardized and monitored nationwide, you are technically allowed to join both celebration events. I skipped one of them.

Second, there is no special reason to set the CoA holiday on that season or calendar. The CoA holiday used to be fixed on the 15th of Jan. The original meaning has already gone obsolete. Thus it can be celebrated whenever during the year flexibly.

Third, recently the government has brought down the voting age from 20 to 18. Likewise the aged 18 and above are no longer minor in the criminal law. Drinking age stays at 20. Being adult is yet a blurred construct in Japan.

Finally as a reunion, the CoA event is not yet so exciting as most are high school/vocational school recent grads are more likely to meet each other quite regularly in their hometown. Better celebrate the 40 or 50 year middle age.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

My point above is, I'm simply a bit concerned with the virus risk (it's too late now...) The CoA events tend to go wild and partying despite caution and effort. At least it could have been postponed awhile. Again it has no special reason to celebrate it at this particular point of time in spite of the health crisis.

More importantly, in weeks/months to come, we expect various entrance exams, school graduation/admission, new calendar for business/school, etc. The virus outcomes due to CoA events could affect those subsequent, far more significant life events, some targeting the brand-new adult population.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Coming of age?

Never got the chance, grew up in London.

Social distancing is a misnomer at events of this nature, a clue clearly illustrated in the photos.

"I decided to carry out today's ceremonies as I strongly hoped everyone takes part in celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime milestone," said Mayor Fumiko Hayash.

Ironic, last words I hope Mayor Fumiko Hayash won’t come to regret

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Maturity is demonstrated through behavior, not ceremonies.

These government sponsored events have always been ridiculous. Even more so now.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

@tooheysnew: agree

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Was this coming of age ceremony a coming of many death ceremony? Lets hope not one poster wrote you only become 20 once, that I agree with and you only have one life on this earth I rather play it safe than be sorry.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Here in Hiroshima it has been moved to golden week.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Saw some walking around my neighborhood in Kobe today. The boys (now men I suppose) looked like "salary men" but the girls stood out. Was just past lunch. Not sure if it was just finished or nearly starting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Part of the becoming of age tradition should be to move out of mommy and daddy's house, do their own laundry, cook their own food, and pay their own bills!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Wow. They look good. Welcome to adults.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Online CoA or cancellation are pathetic

Glad some keep with their events with adequate measures for virus transmission prevention

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Maybe I've been watching too much news all these past few years but whenever I hear of this day, all I have in my mind is kids celebrating their adulthood with a cute mouse at Disneyland, and bosozoku groups drinking themselves silly and creating havoc everywhere.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Record numbers of infected, state of emergency, businesses closing blah blah blah and then we have this nonsense. It’s a joke.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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