Congratulations to the new adults in Japan! Glad to see the new batch of 20 years old male & female in Tachikawa, my residence city for 9 years now. The venue of the ceremony is next to the building where I’m teaching for the past 5 years and used to be the city hall.
Coming of Age Day is a very unique Japanese holiday. The adult-debutante wear the traditional kimono for females and hakama for males. Some wear suits signifying their readiness to go to the business world. Since it’s non-working holiday, it’s a great time for family & class reunion for the new members of the adult society. A lot of my former junior high school students belong to this generation. I used to teach at 2 junior high schools in Kodaira City so if I combine them, at least 1,500 of my students celebrated “seijinshiki” this year!
I was asked, “Who attends this event?” All 20 years old in Japan are invited by their respective local government to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime event in a public building. Most if not all attend this communal debut to adulthood. It also serves as a reunion for old friends and classmates as most of them are studying in different universities or technical schools. Parents and grandparents are very supportive to their relative-debutante that they make it a point to wear traditional costume or business suit…..Recently, the government lowered down the “adult age” to 18 so they can vote and they can become potential consumers to “adults only products.”
Today I met Ulrika, a Swedish TV personality & author, whose eldest daughter joined the Seijinshiki ceremony in our city. She is married to a Japanese man so her children are biracial. We have known each other for about a decade now and so it’s a wonderful reunion for us during the event, too.