Seijin no Hi

seijin no hi

Turning 20 years old  in Japan it is an important event. 20 is the legal age to vote, smoke, consume alcohol and other things, and they have the rights and responsibilities of any other adult. That is why every second of January, in Japan the Seijin no Hi (成人 の 日, literally “adult’s day”). Local governments hold special ceremonies on this day.

seijin no hi 2

These ceremonies are intended to encourage those who have just entered adulthood to be responsible persons of the society. Before it was customary to celebrate it on January 15, but as of 2000 it was decided to do it on the second Monday of January. People who turned 20 during the past year and before January 15 are invited to these ceremonies which include a speech. Also included bingo games or karaoke. In Chiba, for example, they decided to move the ceremony to Disneyland.

Adulthood has been celebrated since time immemorial in Japan. In the past, adulthood was marked when reaching 15 years old, and in the case of women at 13. During the Edo period, young people cut their fringes, and girls painted their teeth black (formerly this was considered a symbol of beauty). It was not until 1876 that adulthood for both men and women was decided to be 20 years.

furisode

Nowadays, men wear suits, while women can choose between the furisode, a kind of kimono for single women, or a dress. He furisode It is one of the most formal dresses that single women can wear in Japan. The cost of these dresses can vary, reaching one million yen, although the normal is between 50 thousand and 100 thousand yen.

A worrying aspect for local governments in Japan is the decreasing number of participants from year to year, and is that the birth rate continues to decline. This is because the number of people who decide not to have children is increasing.