Coming of Age Day (Seijin no Hi) held last January 13, is a Japanese holiday celebrating young people’s graduation into adulthood. Every Japanese boy or girl who reaches the age of 20 (the legal age of majority in Japan) between April 2nd of the previous year and April 1st of the current year is invited to join ceremonies throughout Japan celebrating their transition from childhood to adulthood. After a local government-organized morning or early afternoon Coming of Age ceremony with their family, new adults usually head out to party with their friends and celebrate their new freedom (and responsibility).
For lovers of Japanese fashion, one of the best things about Coming of Age Day is that young women attending the official ceremonies throughout Japan traditionally wear formal furisode kimono along with beautifully done hair and makeup. Young men occasionally wear kimono as well, although we more often see them in suits.
Kimonos are a relatively rare sight on the streets of Tokyo these days (with the exception of yukata during hanabi season). Coming of Age Day is one of the only days of the year when you can walk around Harajuku and Shibuya and see large numbers of young people brightening up the streets in their colorful kimono. It’s a wonderful thing to see – and something that is truly “only in Japan”!
To all of the new adults who we met on the street in Shibuya: Congratulations, and we’re looking forward to the future that you all will create! Also, thank you for allowing us to take your pictures. We hope to see you again soon!