Seijin-no-Hi – The coming of age day in Japan
To all 20 year-old young Japanese, welcome to the adult world. Today, the 16th of January is Seijin-nohi (成人の日/Coming of age day) in Japan. You will see many girls in beautiful Kimono everywhere today. Some boys also wear men´s Kimono, which I personally like better than a suit.
It´s a happy day for Japan, even in Tohoku where people still suffer from the aftermath from the Earthquake and Tsunami three years ago. But for them, it´s rather mixed feeling because of their missing friends. This is Seijin-shiki (成人式/ Coming of age ceremony) in Rikusen-Takada one of the most devastated region in Iwate prefecture. They made a photo with a computer graphic to look like the girl is wearing a Kimono.
It´s also a great opportunity to see your school friends because most of them come back to their hometown to celebrate Seijin-no-Hi. Always a big party after the boring speech of the mayor and I think that´s the main reason for them to come home.
Urayasu city in Chiba prefecture, Seijin-shiki is held in the Disneyland and people are blessed by Mickey Mouse.
My little cousin went there when she celebrated. I think she loved so much and started working and had her wedding at Disneyland.
My mother just told me that in Narita city, they decided to celebrate at Narita Airport this year. The municipal government thought it was the best place for new "adult" to start a promising future. To "fly" to the new life.
It took place in the Terminal 2 and the flight attendances and staff blessed 1,000 young people. It´d be the best way to start a Japan trip for the visitors.
There are different traditions to celebrate the Coming-of-age day. I heard in Kyushu, it looks like a Warring era. In Okinawa it become always a little problematic and the police comes out in the streets. In Yamagata, young people eat Natto-mochi (納豆餅) in Kimono. Whatever they do, it´s a celebration. Now they have more freedom and responsibilities at the same time.
I was talking to my mother about my Seijin-no-Hi. She said it was unusually warm day. I didn´t remember but I remembered I didn´t have a fur shawl like the girls have in the photo avobe. I didn´t remember I didn´t have it because I didn´t want a fur or because it was warm. It could be both reasons.
I just remember anywhere I went that day, people took care of me and treated me like a princess. Many older ladies ran up to me to tell me that I was dragging the super long sleeves. If I went to a restaurant, the staff came up to me with lots of hand towels so that I wouldn´t make any spot on my Kimono.
My grandma bought me a beautiful one with a golden Obi (帯/belt). It was only for one day. You can also rent one for Seijin-shiki. I was lucky that I had mine but it´s true that it was too expensive to wear only for one day.
You can see that how important Seijin-no-Hi even in the modern Japan. It´s a big day for the parents too. It was the first time for me to have a make-up, which was so thick that I had to wash three times to remove and yet I felt something on my face.
Now as they are officially adults and can drink alcohol and drive a car. When is the coming-of-age day in your country and what do you do? I like to know it.
More about celebrations
Kodomo no Hi(Boys´ Day)