Coming of Age Day | Japan

January 15, 2013 Around the WorldCultureEvents, Places & Fun Stuff  2 comments

coming of age day Japan

Did you know that January 14th 2013 was Coming of Age Day in Japan?


It’s a day where when you turn 20 years old you celebrate your adulthood. It’s a national holiday. It is known as  “Seijin no hi”.

I was fortunate enough to go to Japan when I was 17 on a student exchange for a month, which happened to be in January and again when I was 23 around the same time. Japan is a gorgeous country with so many beautiful customs and festivals.

History of Coming of Age Day

This holiday was first celebrated in 1948 and held on January 15th every year. However, because of Japan’s Happy Monday System, Coming of Age day was changed to the second Monday in January.

Since 714AD when a young prince donned on new robes and a new hairstyle to mark his passage in to adulthood is when the Coming of Age ceremonies began.

Coming of Age Ceremony

The Coming of Age ceremony is generally held in the morning at local city offices in Japan, where government officials give speeches and presents are presented to newly recognised adults.

As a new adult in Japan they have expanded rights and responsibilities. As a twenty year you can vote, smoke and drink.

Generally young women celebrate this day by dressing in a kimono style gown with long sleeves that hang down (long sleeves signifies that they are unmarried) and sandals. This gown is known as furisode.

The furisode is rather difficult to put on by themselves so they tend to visit salons to have their gowns fitted and have their hair set and styled. This is a very costly event and usually the gowns are hired or borrowed.

The young men on the other hand, it is customary to wear traditional dress, a dark kimono (hakama) , however nowadays men tend to dress the western way in a suit and tie.

After all the formalities, both groups of young men and women go out to celebrate at parties and drink (because now they can).

I hope to be back in Japan some day soon!

Sayonara for now 🙂

Click on this photo to watch the video about Coming of Age Day

coming of age day Japan

2 comments to Coming of Age Day | Japan

  • Rae Hilhorst  says:

    They look just beautiful. You have just taught me so much, what a respectful culture they have. xx

    • aggie  says:

      I absolutely love the Japanese culture Rae 🙂

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