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Seijin no Hi: Japan is celebrating coming of age

On every second Monday of January, the Japanese reaching 20 years old are celebrating Seijin no Hi. It’s also a celebration day for Japan Expo which is turning 20 too!

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Originally, the traditional genpuku ceremony, which dates back to the 18th century, was a coming of age ritual for boys from noble and samurai families between 11 and 17. For the first time, they wore their adult robes and hairstyle. Later, in the Muromachi era (14th-15th centuries), it spread to include men of lower ranks. Another ceremony, mogi, was organized for girls.

The current celebration was set in 1948, when it took place on the 15th of January for 15 year old’s. In 1999, the Japanese government set a new holiday calendar: the ceremony then took place on every second Monday of January for 20 year old’s. Today, some of those attending the ceremony are only 19 and will turn 20 in the coming months (before April 1st).

Seijin no Hi celebrates coming of age: 20 year old’s get the right to vote, to drink alcohol, or smoke. To highlight the event, they attend a formal ceremony, Seijin Shiki, in local offices, with family and friends, and are handed out a few presents.

Girls traditionally wear a furisode on this occasion, a type of ceremony kimono with large hanging sleeves, and zôri, traditional sandals. More and more often, young men wear Western clothes but traditionally they wore a kimono with a hakama, very large trousers.

After the ceremony, the new adults organize parties to celebrate their coming of age!


Let’s celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Japan Expo on July 4-7, 2019 at Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center!

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  • Culture & traditions
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