‘We Have Entered The World of Adulthood, so We'll Do Our Best!’ Japan Marks Coming of Age Day
Nevin Thompson, 15 Jan 18
       

 Hairstyles of Coming of Age Day. Screencap from Instagram.

Every year, the second Monday in January marks Coming of Age Day (成人の日, seijin no hi) in Japan, when young people in Japan celebrate officially reaching the age of maturity in Japan — 20 years old. There are class reunions, banquets and, often, drunken revelry.

At 20, Japanese people are eligible to vote, to legally consume alcohol, and to drive a car. As an important milestone in one's life, the day is also well documented on social media.

On Monday, January 8, 2018, more than a million people mark their 20th year and their new status as adults. Each municipality across Japan held an official ceremony to mark the day, and newly minted adults attend, usually wearing formal or traditional clothes.

One of the most well-known ceremonies takes place at Kamogawa Seaworld, an aquarium outside of Tokyo. Participants are invited to have their picture taken with Kanjkun, the resident sea lion.

About 1.2 million people will turn 2018, down from 2.46 million people in 1970. In Tokyo's 23 wards, one in eight new adults in 2018 are not Japanese. According to the Japan Times:


10,959 new non-Japanese adults live in central Tokyo, or 13 percent of the 83,764 new adults living in the city.


In one ward of Tokyo, according to the Japan Times, the number of non-Japanese new adults has tripled over the past five years. This increase in non-Japanese new adults is attributed to student and trainee worker programs that have aggressively recruited younger workers from other parts of Asia.

Reunions, revelry and motorized mischief

The tag “Coming of Age” (#成人式) results in thousands of images, such as class reunions and banquets that mark the day.

The hashtag furisode (#振り袖), or long-sleeved kimono, is also a good way to explore images of traditional kimono worn especially for Coming of Age Day.

Men also pay attention to what they wear and how they look, especially hairstyles.

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