Monthly Feature Story-January 2020-Coming of Age Day

2019-12-23 Monthly Feature Story-January 2020-Coming of Age Day

Cultural Tips-Coming of Age Day

The coming of Age Day is a national holiday celebrated on the second Monday in January. The purpose of this holiday is to celebrate young adults who have reached the legal age of twenty after April 2nd of the previous year and who will reach it by April 1st of the current year.

People who have reached this age gain several rights including the right to drink, smoke and vote in elections.

On this day, there are get-togethers with family and friends and also special traditional ceremonies held by local offices throughout Japan.

It is traditional for women to dress their finest on Coming of Age Day. They typically wear a long-sleeved kimono, called a "furisode". Most young women, however, cannot put on a kimono themselves and have to spend a lot of time in beauty salons preparing for the occasion. Men used to wear traditional "haori" jacket and "hakama" pants, but nowadays, they usually wear a snappy suit and tie.

Coming of Age Day has been a holiday since 1948. The modern legal age of twenty was established in 1876, but recent amendments to the Civil Code will lower the age of adulthood to eighteen from April 2022.