Japan Coming of Age Day

POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Mon 2010/01/18 22:35 JST in Japanese Culture

The Coming of Age Day is known as Seijin no Hi and is a day where folks who have turned 20 can celebrate being finally called "Shin Seijin" or "New Adults." Folks who have turned 20 can proceed to SDV - Smoke, Drink and Vote.

Seijin no Hi is celebrated on the second Monday of January and just like last year, I went along with a few comrades to become 20 once again.

First off its the photo shoot with BMW Magazine in Shibuya. Then proceeded to CC Lemon Hall which is just around the corner from Center Gai.

Seijin no Hi usually involves a speech by the head of the ward to address all the new adults and traditionally takes place at ones local ward hall. CC Lemon Hall is used for the new adults who reside in Shibuya ward.

Didn't find a video online of the Shibuya festivities but did find one of Kuwana city.

Arrived at CC Lemon hall and noticed something immediately - unlike last year, there was noticeably a lot less new adults - *a lot less*.

Caught up with comrades at CNN - Kyung Lah who covered dannychoo.com back in 2008. Kyung was here to report on the situation in Japan that you may be already aware of - that the birth rate has declined so much that there are now more people dying than being born. A snippet from Kyung's report on CNN below.
Five years ago, Shibuya ward had 1,917 people turn 20. Ten years ago, that number was 2,462. Twenty years ago, it was 4,380. That’s a steady decline in 20 years, down almost 70 percent. The number of young people is declining, not just in Shibuya, but all over Japan.

Spent some time taking photos of the lovely ladies. Do you have festivities to celebrate the Coming of Age Day in your neck of the woods?

And then some filming for NHK - their studios just opposite the CC Lemon Hall. He seems to be zooming in on dolphin zone?

If you want to join in on the festivities at the hall next year then check out the map below.

New adults can now serve in the fire brigade who were also here last year to recruit. Not sure of candidates are told about the tough training that they need to go through though.

Then after a load of photos, we pretend that we are 20 and proceed to go inside the hall - didn't manage to get in last time but this year they let just about everybody in - maybe because there were a load of empty seats?

Seijin Shiki is the word used for the actual festivities of the Coming of Age Day - I guess this is my first proper Seijin Shiki? ^^;
Once folks are seated some strapping young lads beat away at the taiko drums to whip the crowds into a frenzy.

Then its time for everybody to stand up for the Japanese national anthem.

Which brings me to a question - can you sing your kingdoms national anthem?

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Quite a few empty seats. Saw some news reports where some wards were only attended by one new adult.

Then its off to central Shibuya to join in on the rest of the shenanigans. The roads around 109 are all pedestrianized with a load of events - Seijin no Hi is also a public holiday.
The fluffy thing I have around my neck is what Japanese girls usually wear with their furisode to keep them warm in the cold - and its really warm! But guess it could have been warm because this lady was wearing it for the whole morning ^^;;
This should be standard equipment for troopers. And no - I don't believe that its real fur.

The traditional garment is a type of kimono called Furisode and is usually rented.
This furisode costs 110250 yen rental for a month where the lady would wear it for photos and on other occasions running up to Seijin no Hi.

The lovely Erika Toda in a commercial for some Furisode.

Thanks to Joseph Tame for taking these pics - you can see more from our group at the following urls. The last photo was taken by Steve with more photos at:-

Leaving the rest of the photos to do the talking but before I leave you, how many of you are Seijin this year?

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This article was posted this time last year but 30% of current readers have not seen this yet so I'm bumping to the top ^^;