The Coming of Age Ceremony

by joe on August 19, 2011

The Big 2-0 Turning 20 is a big deal in Japan. For the first time you can drink alcohol, smoke, vote and get married without your parent’s say-so. Never missing the chance to hold a formal ceremony Seijin no Hi is the Coming of Age Day, and is a national holiday as well (usually the second Monday in January). In towns across Japan, anyone that turned twenty that year will attend an official ceremony to commemorate their passage into adulthood.

The girls are fully decked out in traditional kimono and the guys choose between the male version or a Western-style suit. It’s also become notorious in recent years for bad behavior by the new adults. Having partaken of the newly legal alcohol they can been seen on the news disrupting their town ceremonies, a sign of the generation gap opening up between the young and their more traditional, reserved elders.

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