Samurai Dave: The Roving Ronin Report

Rambling Narrative of Travels, Thoughts, and Embellishments

Low Attendance for Seijin-no-Hi: Japan’s Coming of Age Day

Following up last year’s story on Japan’s Coming of Age Day: Seijin-no-Hi, I went back to Meiji Shrine this year to see newest adults celebrating their entrance into adulthood.

A Gaggle of Giggling Girls

Once again the streets of Japan were filled (or slightly filled as the records show this year) with girls celebrating their coming into adulthood wearing traditional long-sleeved kimono known as furisode.

Age 20 is the legal adult age in Japan and over 50 years ago a national holiday known as Seijin-no-Hi (“Coming of Age Day”) was established to give these new adults a day to celebrate.

Basking in her one-day celebrityhood

This is the day especially for young women to shine and achieve celebrity-like status in their gorgeous furisode kimono. Temples and shrines are mobbed with kimono-clad girls posing away while fervid photographers snap away.

This year’s Coming of Age Day however marks one of the lowest turn outs since 1987. The Baby Boom generation had it’s highest number of 20 year olds in 1970 with 2.46 million and their children registered 2.04 million in 1994.

The overall figure of today’s 20 year olds is a grim 1.09% of the entire population. This year’s low numbers has rekindled the brooding fear of a top-heavy population of the elderly over a smaller population of youth.

With more and more baby boomers getting prepared for retirement, there is a legitimate fear of labor shortages in the near future. The Japanese government has so far been relunctant to ease immigration policies which would help to fill growing labor gaps.

In contrast to the grim foreboding future of a youth-less Japanese society and the nightmare to right-wingers of growing foriegn labor, the number of marriages and births has gone up in recent times prompting hope.

All this gloom seemingly did not faze the new adults. They were too busy getting their pictures taken, riding the rides at Disneyland, and simply enjoying their special day.

January 10, 2007 - Posted by | Blogroll, cute, festival, japan, kimono, seijin-no-hi, tokyo, travel


  1. Great pics, it was a great day out and about yesterday too.

    Comment by Neil Duckett | January 15, 2008 | Reply

  2. The Coming Of Age Festival – Seijin no hi

    If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!The Coming of Age festival is celebrated on the second Monday of January. The day used to be celebrated always on January 15 until the year 1999. This year it was cele…

    Trackback by Neil Duckett | January 15, 2008 | Reply

  3. […] Seijin no Hi Low Attendance […]

    Pingback by KKK – Kimono Klad Kuties: Japan’s Coming of Age Day « Samurai Dave: The Roving Ronin Report | January 5, 2010 | Reply

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