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Coming of Age Day

coming of age day, coming of age day japan 2018
Coming of Age Day 成人の日, Seijin no Hi is a Japanese holiday held annually on the second Monday of January It is held in order to congratulate and encourage all those who have reached the age of majority 20 years old over the past year, and to help them realize that they have become adults Festivities include coming of age ceremonies 成人式, seijin-shiki held at local and prefectural offices, as well as after-parties among family and friends


  • 1 History
  • 2 Coming of age ceremony
  • 3 Declining attendance
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References


Coming of age ceremonies have been celebrated in Japan since at least 714 AD, when a young prince donned new robes and a hairstyle to mark his passage into adulthood1 The holiday was first established in 1948, to be held every year on January 152 In 2000, as a result of the Happy Monday System, Coming of Age Day was changed to the second Monday in January314

Until recently, all young adults attending the coming of age ceremony were exactly 20, having held their 20th birthday after the previous year's Coming of Age Day but before or on the present Coming of Age Day

Coming of age ceremonyedit

Coming of age ceremonies 成人式, Seijin-shiki mark one's coming of age age of maturity, which reflects both the expanded rights but also increased responsibilities expected of new adults The ceremonies are generally held in the morning at local city offices throughout Japan All young adults who turned or will turn 20 between April 2 of the previous year and April 1 of the current one and who maintain residency in the area are invited to attend Government officials give speeches, and small presents are handed out to the newly recognized adults

Many women celebrate this day by wearing furisode, a style of kimono with long sleeves that hang down, and zōri sandals Since most are unable to put on a kimono by themselves due to the intricacies involved, many choose to visit a beauty salon to dress and to set their hair A full set of formal clothing is expensive, so it is usually either borrowed from a relative or rented rather than bought especially for the occasion Men sometimes also wear traditional dress eg dark kimono with hakama, but nowadays many men wear formal Western clothes such as a suit and tie more often than the traditional hakama5 After the ceremony, the young adults often celebrate in groups by going to parties or going out drinking1

Declining attendanceedit

Japan's low birth rate and shrinking percentage of young people, coupled with disruptions to some ceremonies in recent years such as an incident in Naha in 2002, when drunken Japanese youths tried to disrupt the festivities and a general increase in the number of 20-year-olds who do not feel themselves to be adults have led to decreased attendance of the ceremonies, which has caused some concern among older Japanese6 In 2012, the decline continued for the fifth year in a row, with the total of 122 million adults celebrating the holiday in 2012 – under half of the participants seen at its peak in 1976, when 276 million adults attended ceremonies This was the first time it has declined below the 50% threshold7

See alsoedit

  • Genpuku
  • Secular coming of age ceremony


  1. ^ a b c Allen, David; Sumida, Chiyomi January 9, 2004 "Coming of Age Day, a big event for Japanese youths, is steeped in tradition" Stars and Stripes 
  2. ^ Araiso, Yoshiyuki 1988 Currents: 100 essential expressions for understanding changing Japan Japan Echo Inc in cooperation with the Foreign Press Center p 150 ISBN 978-4-915226-03-8 
  3. ^ Kyōkai, Nihon Rōdō 2000 Japan labor bulletin, Volume 39 Japan Institute of Labour p 3 
  4. ^ Glum, Julia 11 January 2015 "Japan Coming Of Age Day 2015: Facts About Japanese Holiday Celebrating Young People PHOTOS" International Business Times 
  5. ^ Robertson, Jennifer Ellen 2005 A companion to the anthropology of Japan Wiley-Blackwell p 158 ISBN 978-0-631-22955-1 
  6. ^ Joyce, Colin January 15, 2002 "Drunken Japanese youths ruin coming of age rituals" The Daily Telegraph 
  7. ^ "Record-low number of new adults mark Coming-of-Age Day" Mainichi Daily News January 9, 2012 

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