Kids Web Japan


Coming-of-Age Day

The second Monday of January is Coming-of-Age Day, a national holiday to encourage those who have newly entered adulthood to become self-reliant members of society.

Coming-of-age ceremonies have been held since time immemorial in Japan. In the past, boys marked their transition to adulthood when they were around 15, and girls celebrated their coming of age when they turned 13 or so. During the Edo period (1603-1868), boys had their forelocks cropped off, and girls had their teeth dyed black to mark their coming-of-age. In 1876, 20 became the legal age of adulthood, but it was lowered to the age of 18 in 2022.

Municipal governments host special coming-of-age ceremonies for 18-year-olds on this day. However, since times of celebrating 20-year-olds as adults were long, most regions celebrate people becoming 20 on this day still.

Even though hakama is the traditional formal men’s wear for this celebration, most people wear modern suits to their coming-of-age ceremony today. Yet, a lot of women choose to wear traditional furisode - a special type of kimono with extra-long sleeves and elaborate designs. People dress up on this special day to celebrate the start of their adult life.