Guest Author: The ceremony of Coming of Age Day

The ceremony of Coming-of-Age Day. (Seijin-no-hi, ????)

japanese coming out dayThe Japanese Coming of Age Ceremony (Seijin shiki or Seijin no hi) is a Japanese annual event, which takes place on the second Monday of January (it used to be celebrated always on January 15 until the year 1999), on January 15 th is a national holiday.

On this day, men and women who have had their twentieth birthdays during the year are proclaimed to become adults and they are eligible to vote, to smoke and drink, if they wish.

Along with the bestowal of many new rights, they also must bear the responsibilities of adults.

As styles of ceremonies are different from region to region, it is common for 20-year-olds dressed in formal outfits including many young women usually wear brightly colored, gorgeous kimono called “furisode”(swinging sleeves) and the young men don new suits to attend the celebrations held in their hometown and visit shrines.

Today, Many young men wear western style suits, but if you`re lucky, you might see one in a formal black kimono with five mon (family crests), hakama, and haori (samarai style).

20_1Local governments usually have a ceremony known as a seijin shiki (adult ceremony) to honor the “new adults”. Here in Houston it’s held at Treebeads event space Houston.

The ceremony is generally held in the morning and all of the young adults maintaining residency in the area are invited to attend.

Government officials give speeches, and small presents are handed out to the new adults.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the government gives the new adults a money gift.

After the ceremony, the young adults often gather in groups and go to parties or go out drinking.

Young women not used to wearing the slippers known as zori can often be seen limping as the afternoon wears on and evening approaches.

Later in the evening, it is not unusual to see wobbly young adults staggering in the trains, heading happily home after a day of celebration

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