Japanese Kimono Ceremony to Celebrate Coming of Age

  • Do you want to drink alcohol such as sake, wine or etc at Japan? You must wait until you are coming of age. When is it? After you reach your twenty years old birthday, you will be allowed to drink alcohol there. So, it means that the time when you turn into 20, there will be a special day for you. It is called the Coming of Age Day in Japan, or “seijin-no-hi” in Japanese.

    Coming of Age Day traditions reach back to the 700s, when a prince put on new robes and got a new hairstyle to showcase that he had become an adult. Between 1603 and 1868, boys began cutting their hair and wearing swords on their 15th birthdays. On girls’ 13th birthdays, they dyed their teeth black. The age of adulthood was eventually set for both genders at 20 in 1876, and Coming of Age Day became a national holiday in 1948. While still extremely popular in Japan, Coming of Age Day participation has been declining in recent years. Only 1.2 million people turned 20 for the holiday last year which is less than half of the 2.46 million who did in 1970.

    So on Coming of Age Day, government officials hold Coming of Age Ceremony which is “Seijin-shiki” in Japanese where they recognize new adults. Women wear expensive kimonos with long sleeves (furisode) and slippers (zori), while men wear baggy pants (hakama) or suits. After a visit to the shrines, they go to place like pubs which is called “izakaya” in Japanese to celebrate a party with their friends and families. Anyone who turned or turns 20 in this years is invited.

    If you lived in Japan, and you are still not 20 years old, that means that you will turn into 20 and it’s a good oppurtunity to come to this ceremony. The ceremony is only for those who turned or turns into 20. The other people must wait outside the hall during the ceremony.

    I personally have joined Coming of Age Ceremony this year. In the ceremony, you will hear such as traditional Japanese music, or you will able to see some Japanese shows, and there are also some speech about adult’s life and for the future.
    Well, for me as an international student in Japan, it is really a good chance that I can come to this ceremony, thank you Japan. Yes, I do love you.