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!


henny said...

No ceremony I saw here in Saijo. Perhaps in Hiroshima city. I'm curious with Furisode. Is it special for this occasion and this season?

Tall Gary said...

I almost got whiplash on Adult Day when I lived in Japan. Is there anything more stunning in its way? So great that the weather was fine. I remember a student of mine who celebrated Adult Day on a raining-cats-and-dogs day.

I recall quite a few hakama but the furisode kimono are nice.

Thanks for sharing the beauty, Kaori.

VP said...

This ceremony made the news even here. I like those Furisode, they are beautiful and elegant.

Kaori said...

Henny, Furisode can be worn in any occasion, but is usually worn by women who are not married. A lot of girls buy a Furisode for the Coming of Age Day and can continue to wear it to weddings, graduations, and temples until they marry. They can even adjust the sleaves and turn the Furisode into a regular Kimono ;)

Babzy said...

This is a beautiful tradition , the Furisode is awesome ! Can't you show us you wearing the furisode ? ;)

Hilda said...

That's a very interesting custom. The furisode are beautiful! Are the fur stoles part of it or separate? Wishing blessings on all the young men and women who are now adults.

Kaori said...

Babzy, thank you! i'll have to go look for a picture of myself :)

Hilda, the fur is seperate and used only in the winter! :)

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