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Why and how to celebrate Coming of Age Day in Japan



Coming of Age Day 成人の日 Seijin no Hi

Coming of Age Day (成人の日, Seijin no Hi) is a Japanese holiday held every year on the second Monday of January. At times called ‘Adult Day’, the day praises young Japanese who will arrive at the age of 20 anytime in a year since the beginning of April in the earlier year. Twenty is the age of majority in Japan and individuals who have arrived at this age acquire the right to vote in elections as well as to drink, smoke, and get married without parental assent.

Coming of Age day remains a popular holiday, however, Japan’s decrease in populace development in recent years implies that fewer individuals are turning 20 – just 1.22 million in 2020 contrasted with almost double that toward the beginning of the 1970s.

Municipal governments have special coming-of-age ceremonies for 20-year-olds since an “adult” in Japan is lawfully characterized as one who is 20 or over. In Japan, the legal smoking and drinking age is 20. Yet, alongside these rights come new duties too, thus age 20 is a major defining moment for the Japanese.

Coming of Age Day is generally celebrated by parties put on for the individuals who have or who will turn 20 in the applicable April to April time span. There are get-togethers with loved ones with food, partnership, and much cheer.

There are likewise extraordinary, traditional ceremonies associated with Coming of Age Day. These occur at local government offices all through the land. Authorities offer speeches to the most current group of adults and give them small gifts.

It is traditional for women who’ve quite recently come of age to dress their best on Coming of Age Day. They ordinarily wear a long-sleeved kimono, called a “furisode”, which they have rented or borrowed from a relative. They spend a lot of time in beauty salons getting ready for the event. Men used to wear traditional hakama, however, these days, they ordinarily wear a snappy suit and tie.

Coming of Age Day History

Coming of age ceremonies have been praised in Japan for at least the last 1300 years. The training can be followed back to the 8th century when youthful individuals from the royal family would wear new robes to celebrate their turning of age. The holiday in Japan nonetheless, wouldn’t get official until 1948. This is the point at which it was set up as a holiday to be praised on January 15th. In any case, this would be changed in 2000 to the second Monday of January as a result of changes in the laws governing holidays and when they are to be praised.

Since the mid-eighth century, Japan has been having a coming of age ceremonies to help youngsters in their progress into adulthood. In those days, a youthful prince would wear new robes and wear a special hairstyle to signify this rite of passage.

In 1948, Japan announced that the Coming of Age Day was to be noticed each January 15th. Notwithstanding, in 2000, that date was changed to every second Monday of January to accommodate Japan’s Happy Monday System, which was a set of rules set up in 1998 and 2001 to move certain Japanese public holidays to Mondays to make three-day weekends.

Japan’s Age Of Majority

The age of the majority relates to the age that is perceived by law as to where adulthood starts. Now throughout everyday life, minors are not, at this point under the control, supervision, and lawful duties of their parents or guardians. The entirety of their activities and decisions are considered their own.

In 2018, the Japanese government passed a bill that brings down that age of majority from 20 years of age to 18 years of age. When it produces results on April 1, 2022, 18-year-olds in Japan can apply for passports with 10-year validity, get married without their parent’s assent, and take out loans and credit cards.

Notwithstanding, despite the bringing down of the age of majority to 18, the legitimate drinking age in Japan will stay at 20 years of age. The lawful age of gambling and smoking will likewise remain the equivalent at 20.

Ceremonial robes

Young ladies who participate in Coming of Age Day ceremonies dress up in furisode, which is a long-sleeved kind of kimono that youthful and single or unmarried ladies wear. Generally, they simply lease one from kimono rental shops as opposed to purchasing, as elaborate pieces of clothing, for example, this can cost a few thousands of yen.

Then again, youngsters who celebrate their Coming of Age Day commonly wear either a traditional Japanese kimono for men with hakama or a Western-style attire like a suit.

Notable Coming Of Age Day Ceremonies In Japan

Coming of age ceremonies (成人式, Seijin-Shiki) mark one’s coming of age (age of maturity), which reflects both the extended rights yet additionally expanded responsibilities expected of new adults. The ceremonies are generally held in the morning at local city offices all through Japan. All youthful adults who turned or will turn 20 between April 2 of the earlier year and April 1 of the current one and who keep up residency in the territory are invited to join in. Government authorities give speeches, and small presents are distributed to the recently perceived adults.

Consistently, a few Coming of Age Day ceremonies in Japan gets significantly more consideration and media coverage than others.

In Tokyo, two of the greatest Coming of Age Day ceremonies are held at the Shibuya Ward office and the Shinjuku Ward office. These two events usually begin at 11:30, with the city mayor or other significant public figure welcoming the members and helping them to remember the duties that accompany being an adult. After the customs, there are live music or dance performances arranged by the local offices.

In Kyoto, there is an extraordinary event that is held on the Sunday before the Coming of Age Day. It is called Omato Taikai, which features young ladies who showcase their mastery and abilities in Kyudo, which is a Japanese martial art that uses traditional Japanese bow and arrow to prepare the body and the mind.

How is Coming-of-Age Day celebrated?

“The purpose of this holiday is to congratulate and encourage young men and women who attain the legal age of adulthood to fulfill their new-found responsibilities and become self-reliant members of society,” said Masahiko Uchino, of the National Cabinet Office’s holiday section.

Local governments usually have a ceremony known as a seijin Shiki (adult ceremony) to respect the “new adults”. The ceremony is held in the morning of the national holiday at local city offices across Japan. The individuals who turn 20 during the current school year, which runs from April 2nd to April 1st the next year, are welcome to join in. During the ceremony, heads of local government and visitor speakers from different backgrounds give speeches and small presents are distributed to the new adults.

Ladies praise the day by wearing special kimonos where the sleeves are long, contrasted with the kimono with more limited sleeve portions that are worn by mature, married women. A few women will likewise wear hakama (baggy pants).

Most young ladies can’t put on a kimono themselves and need to go to a kimono kitsuke who dresses them. They likewise go to a hairdresser to have their hair done the day before or promptly in the morning. Numerous women lease their kimonos on account of the expense of buying one.

Most young men wear matching suits, albeit once in a while men wearing dark-colored kimonos, called a “haori” (half-coat), can be seen. Positively, It is a substantially less costly day for youngsters than women.

The Coming of Age Day tradition may go back to the 700s, however, its more modern interpretation started during the 1600s. Boys would partake in genpuku and girls would join in Mogi ceremonies where they would dress in adult robes and trim their hair.

The holiday took on an alternate tone after World War II, when the city of Warabi, close to Tokyo, hosted a young celebration to cheer individuals up. The idea got on, and Coming of Age Day has been an official holiday since 1948. In 1998, it was moved to the second Monday in January as part of Japan’s “Happy Monday” system, which moved a few holidays to make three-day weekends.

The modern legal age of 20 as adulthood was set up in 1876. When known as ‘Genpuku’, the coming of age ceremony is a custom that originates before this by some distance, yet the age of becoming an adult was customarily a lot more youthful – 15 for boys and 13 for girls.

Coming of Age Day in Japan is held to celebrate adulthood, congratulate youngsters who have reached or will arrive at the time of larger part within the next three months, and assist them with understanding that they have become adults.

The holiday is set apart with festive ceremonies held at local city and prefectural offices all through Japan, frequently followed by after-parties with families and companions. The ceremonies of ordinarily happen in the morning. They are gone to by youthful adults of relevant age who reside in the territory. The recently perceived adults listen in to speeches given by government authorities and get small presents.

For young women, it is standard to wear furoside with zori sandals. A furoside is a style of kimono with amazingly long sleeves made of extremely fine, splendidly colored silk. It is viewed as the most formal style of kimono worn by youthful unmarried ladies. By wearing a furoside on Coming of Age Day, a young woman implies that she is a legal adult.

A few parents purchase furoside for their daughters to wear on Coming of Age Day however a full set of traditional attire is pricey. The individuals who can’t manage the cost of it normally rent or borrow from a family member. Since furoside has a perplexing design, most young women can’t put it on without help. So many decisions to visit a beauty salon before the ceremony to dress and complete their hair. Youngsters sometimes additionally wear traditional attire (a dark kimono with hakama) yet most like to wear formal Western garments (formal attire).

Participation in the coming of age ceremonies has declined in recent years because of various reasons, including the shrinking percentage of 20-year-olds brought about by Japan’s low birth rate and an overall expansion in the number of youngsters who have reached the age of majority yet don’t see themselves as adults. Moreover, the age of the majority in Japan was brought down to 18 years old, producing results in 2022. Along these lines, the status of the holiday is to some degree hazy yet it is probably not going to be ended.

Recent changes to the Civil Code will bring down the age of adulthood to 18 from April 2022, yet there is no law specifying the age of the Coming of Age ceremony participants.

During public holidays, tourist attractions and public transport are generally more crowded. Hotels may charge a holiday estimating premium of up to 50% on normal rates.

On Coming of Age Day, government prefectures all over Japan hold special ‘coming of age events’ that are available to each one of the individuals who have recently turned 20 years old. During these events, gifts are given to the youthful adults, and speeches are made by government authorities. It is additionally standard for families to throw their own special parties to mark this event.

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