Seijin no Hi (成人の日) was established in 1947 as a national holiday (January 15th), but now it is held annually on the second Monday of January. Festivities include ceremonies held at local and prefectural offices and parties amongst family and friends to celebrate passage into adulthood.

In the past, coming-of-age ceremonies were largely reserved for noble and samurai families. A ceremony called genpuku was celebrated for men of such ranks at an age varying from 12 to 16. The equivalent for women was called mogi (裳着), and was celebrated for girls between the ages of 12 and 14.

Seijin Shiki (成人式, lit. Adult Ceremony) is the Japanese coming-of-age ceremony. The age of majority in Japan is 20. The seijin shiki covers all those who will reach this age during the current school year, which runs between April and the following March. The ceremony is generally held in the morning at local city offices and all young adults who maintain residency in the area are invited to attend. Government officials give speeches, and small presents are handed out to the new adults.

Many women celebrate this day by wearing a furisode (振袖) (a style of kimono with long sleeves that drape down). Men sometimes also wear traditional dress (dark kimono with hakama).

After the ceremony, the young adults often gather in groups and go to parties or go out drinking. Young women not used to wearing the zori slippers (草履) can often be seen limping as the afternoon wears on and evening approaches. Later in the evening, it is not unusual to see wobbly young adults staggering in the trains, heading home after a day of celebration.


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