Have you ever heard about “Seijinshiki”? This event has very important meaning for all Japanese people.
Overview the History
“Seijinshiki” is known as coming-of-age ceremony. The first “coming-of-age ceremony” was held in Warabi city, Saitama Prefecture. After the end of the Pacific War, a festival called the Youth Festival was held at there to encourage young people who will lead the next generation. When the Japanese government met that festival, they decided to do it for all young people.
January 15, 1949 was enacted as coming-of-age day. The reason for establishing Coming-of-Age Day on January 15 is that there is a custom of doing the ceremony of the first full moon of the New Year, and it originates from this.
However, in modern times, January 15 is not always a full moon. Now, due to the revision of the National Holiday Law in 2000, “Coming-of-Age Day” has been changed to the second Monday of January.
On the day of the coming-of-age ceremony, the city is crowded with youth wearing traditional clothes. Young women are wearing furisode, which is kind of kimono but much more gorgeous. But why do women put on furisode at the coming-of-age ceremony?
The main reason is because, it is formal dress for unmarried young women. It’s important as manners to wear it to the coming-of-age ceremony, which is one of the most prestigious events in Japan. In addition, furisode was believed to have amulet effect, so people in old days preferred it.
For men, there was a tradition of wearing crested hakama. However, the number of rentals has increased, and in today’s world where not only Japanese clothes but also Western-style clothes have penetrated, the number of young people wearing suits are increasing.
On the other hand, there are regions that do things differently from conventional formats. For example, in Kitakyushu, there is a young person who does a wacky appearance which stands out more than the others. They express their identity by wearing shining or rock-like garments.
Although “seijinshiki” is a once-in-a-life event, more and more young people have not participated in it in recent years. The government is implementing various measures to increase the attendance rate of the coming-of-age ceremony.
One of the most famous measures is to have a ceremony at a popular local spot. In Chiba Prefecture, coming-of-age ceremonies are held at Tokyo Disneyland and Kamogawa Sea World, an aquarium famous for sea lion shows. In this way, various ways are elaborated to prevent absence from coming-of-age ceremonies.