2014 Coming of Age Day

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The ceremonies of the Coming of Age Day (成人の日, Seijin no Hi in Japanese) are held every year on the second Monday of the year, to celebrate the young people who have reached the age of majority over the last year. On this special day, most young women will wear a kimono with long sleeves (called furisode), which indicates that they are not yet married. Some young men will also be wearing traditional clothes on this occasion, but truth be told nowadays most of them are wearing western suits. While heavy snow was covering the streets of Tokyo last year, the weather was excellent this year.

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While the main events of are usually held within city halls or hotels with large meeting rooms, many among the young adults will also chose to visit a temple or a shrine after the official ceremonies. Meiji Jingu is always a popular choice, and you will without a doubt find there some “new adults” immortalizing in pictures this special day for them with their parents.

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To be perfectly honest, I highly suspect that some of the women wearing kimono at Meiji Jingu are models whose role is to attract tourists and the mass of photographers (or maybe they just came there because they like their picture to be taken or because they represent a kimono rental shop for all I know…), so that regular people joining the ceremonies don’t get overly bothered. It might just be a conspiracy theory of mine, but it would be a good idea indeed, that could be used in other occasions instead of having some security guard running after photographers… Anyway, from my experience anyone wearing traditional clothes on that day will easily let you take his/her picture, as long as you speak the international language of “a nod of the head with a smile”. 😉

Talk to you soon…

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Coming Of Age

Coming of Age Day at Meiji JinguAround 2 weeks ago, Japan celebrated the Seijin no Hi (coming of age day), and i thought this would make a good follow-up to last week’s post on Shichi Go San.

Coming of Age Day at Meiji JinguSeijin no Hi is held on the 2nd Monday of January every year, and celebrates the fact that 20-years-old have reached the age of majority in Japan and are making their first steps in adulthood. After turning 20, Japanese people:

  • have the right to vote
  • become eligible for financial loans
  • can drink alcohol
  • can smoke

On the other hand, the driving license for ordinary cars can be obtained after turning 18 years old.

Coming of Age Day at Meiji JinguThe day is a national holiday, and young Japanese turning 20 during the year will be dressed formally for the occasion and visit the City hall where they are registered. If girls are still wearing traditional furisode (sort of kimonos, with distinguishable falling long sleeves) most of the boys nowadays dress up with Western style suits.

Coming of Age Day at Meiji JinguOptionally, those who desire can also go to the shrine to make a prayer for their passage into adulthood, as i could see at the Meiji Jingu, which was still very crowded with people coming to pray for the new year.

Coming of Age Day at Meiji JinguTalk to you soon…