Coming of Age Festival in Japan

In Japan, the age of 20 marks a complete maturity both physically and mentally. But, in 2018, the revision of the Civil Code decided to lower the adult age from 20 to 18.

Feb 1, 2023 - 07:41
Feb 28, 2023 - 22:18
Coming of Age Festival in Japan

Turning 20 years old means being officially recognized as an adult, marking you as responsible for your behavior in front of society.

Traditionally, they hold a festival called the Seijin Shiki adulthood festival. Let's learn about this traditional festival. Seijin no Hi is a traditional Japanese holiday celebrated every year on the second Monday of January.

True to its name, this day is intended to congratulate young Japanese people who have turned 20 years old, a milestone that marks they have truly grown up, have the right to drink, smoke and vote. The festival includes coming of age ceremony held at local and provincial offices, followed by a party with family and friends.

Coming of Age Day has been celebrated in Japan since at least 714 AD, when a young prince was given a new robe and changed his hairstyle to mark his step into adulthood. On Seijin no Hi day, young Japanese people will dress up beautifully, usually girls will wear Kimono and make up their hair brightly, and boys will wear hakama (kimono for men) or vest to attend. festival.

The coming of age ceremony (Seijin-shiki) is usually held early in the morning at the city's local office. All adults who will turn 20 years old between April 2 of the previous year and April 1 of the current year and local residents are invited to attend the ceremony. Government officials will give speeches and small gifts will be distributed to new adults.

In Japan, 20 years old has been treated as the age of adulthood since 1877. However, in recent years, the age of voting rights in national referendums and the voting age under the Public Offices Election Law have been lowered to 18, prompting a review of the age of adulthood, which had been on the agenda for some time. 

The reason why the age of adulthood has come up several times in the past is related to the age of adulthood in the world. Globally, most adults are under the age of 20.

We will explain the reasons while comparing what you can do when you are 18 years old from 2022 and what you can not do until you are 20 years old.

What you can do at the age of 18 after April 2022:

  • Parental consent not required for contracts (loans, credit cards, mobile phones)
  • Acquisition of national qualifications (certified public accountant, doctor's license, drug license, etc.)
  • Marriage (18 years for both men and women)
  • Adjudication for change of gender treatment for gender identity disorder
  •  Acquisition of ordinary driver's license (as before)

Things you can't do until you turn 20 after April 2022

  • Drinking
  • smoking
  • Purchase of voting rights for horse races, bicycle races, etc.
  • Adopt a child
  • Acquisition of large and medium-sized driver's license

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