Seijin no Hi, Japan

Seijin no Hi, Japan

Coming of Age Day, Japan

 

Celebration Date
Second Monday of January
Other Name
Seijin no Hi
Holiday Type
National Holiday

 

Coming of Age Day (Seijin no Hi) is a Japanese holiday held annually on the second Monday of January. It is held in order to congratulate and encourage all those who have reached the age of majority over the past year, and to help them realize that they have become adults. This national holiday was established in 1948 as a day to congratulate and encourage people who have reached the age of maturity (20) during the year. Cities and towns throughout the nation hold ceremonies for these people. Originally held on January 15, in 2000 it was changed to the second Monday of January in accordance with the Happy Monday System. On this day you'll see hordes of young people out on the town in formal attire men in business suits or haorihakama (a robe-like top with an overcoat and pleated pants) and women in furisode, a type of long-sleeved kimono. They're also usually tipsy by late in the day—20 is also the legal drinking age. 

History of Coming of Age Day

oming of age ceremonies have been celebrated in Japan since at least 714 AD, when a young prince donned new robes and a hairstyle to mark his passage into adulthood. The holiday was first established in 1948, to be held every year on January 15. In 2000, as a result of the Happy Monday System, Coming of Age Day was changed to the second Monday in January. Japan's low birth rate and shrinking percentage of young people, coupled with disruptions to some ceremonies in recent years (such as an incident in Naha in 2002, when drunken Japanese youths tried to disrupt the festivities) and a general increase in the number of 20-year-olds who do not feel themseles to be adults have led to decreased attendance of the ceremonies, which has caused some concern among older Japanese. In 2012, the decline continued for the fifth year in a row, with the total of 1.22 million adults celebrating the holiday in 2012 – under half of the participants seen at its peak in 1976, when 2.76 million adults attended ceremonies.

This was the first time it has declined below the 50% threshold. Japan lowered the age of adulthood in 2018 from 20 years of age to 18 which is set to take effect in 2022. This change has caused confusion on the status of the holiday, and raised concerns among the kimono industry which profits from the garments worn during the ceremonies.

 

Ceremonial Dress

 

 

 

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