January 13, 2010
Child Yesterday, Adult Today
This monday was 'Coming of Age Day,' which is a national holiday in Japan. This is the day we celebrate everyone who turns 20 years old in the coming school year (April 2 of this year to April 1 of next year). Coming of Age Day officially started in 1948. Since then, many young people have celebrated the beginning of their adulthood on January 15, until the day changed to the second Monday of January in 2000.
In Japan, 20 is the age when you can legally vote, drink alcohol, and smoke. You're also required to start paying tax.
In Tokorozawa, 3,466 young people (1,765 male, 1,701 female) are scheduled to turn 20 this coming school year. I'm sure many attended the Coming of Age Ceremony the city holds for them.
It is traditional for girls to wear Furisode, a type of Kimono with long sleeves, and for boys to wear Hakama. Although some people prefer to wear just a suit because it takes so much time and energy to wear a traditional outfit.
I was walking to the supermarket and I saw a lot of girls wearing Furisode, heading to the nearest game center to take a Purikura, a photo sticker. I did the same thing when I was 20, too. I guess some things never change.
Congratulations to all the 20 year old's in Tokorozawa!