Coming Of Age Day
In Japan, the Coming of Age day is held on the second Monday of January (which was yesterday, January 12, 2009), called Seijin no Hi (translated to Adults Day). The age of majority is 20 years old, as these young adults can now vote, drink and smoke.
The celebrants may go to a photo studio with their family, gather at the local ward office for a formal ceremony, visit a shrine and go drinking with their friends.
Since this is a very special day, young women wear a traditional garment (kimono) called a furisode (costing about $500 or more to rent for the day or over $15,000 to buy), while young men may wear a business suit or a hakama (much less common).
According to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, the number of people who turned 20 years old as of January 1 in 2009 came to 1.33 million, down about 20,000 from a year earlier and a record low for the second consecutive year.
The new adults, about 680,000 men and 650,000 women, account for 1.04% of Japan’s total population, down 0.02 percentage point from a year earlier to mark a record low for a third straight year.
All the pictures in this blog post were taken at the Meiji Jingu Shrine in Tokyo.