Japan celebrated Seijin no Hi, or “Coming of Age Day”, in different ceremonies held all over the country on Monday. Originally a religious rite for samurai member families in Shintoism, it celebrates the passage into adulthood of young people. For Japan, the “coming of age” is 20 years old, as they are now considered of legal age and can purchase alcohol and tobacco freely.
Around 1.21 million men and women were estimated to have “come of age” last year, according to the Internal Affairs Ministry. The number hit a record low for the ministry, which started calculating “new adults” in 1968. A number of 2.46 million adults was listed in 1970, the highest number ever recorded.
As local communities each held their own celebration of Seijin no Hi, people are invited to witness the event. A national holiday, it is observed every second Monday of January. Urasayu City, where Tokyo Disneyland is located, traditionally holds their ceremonies in the popular theme park by inviting the new adults to visit. This year, the city mayor welcomed 1,200 new adults in the theme park. While traditionally held to celebrate the passage of one to adulthood, Coming of Age Day in recent years has also served as a reminder of the fusion of the old and new, with the celebrants wearing either a traditional Furoside kimono, for young women, or a new suit, in the case of young men.
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