Though the ages and rites may differ, it's common across numerous cultures to celebrate “coming of age,” when youngsters are officially considered adults. In Japan, coming of age is celebrated communally, with everyone who turns 20 in a given year gathering at some government building or other for speeches, much like a graduation ceremony. Unlike a graduation ceremony, though, the new adults tend to dress up in extravagant or flashy clothes, often making national news with wild haircuts, over-the-top kimono, and obnoxiously loud cars.
Okinawa almost invariably ends up in the headlines on Seijin-no-Hi (the Japanese name for “Coming of Age Day”) thanks to the locals’ apparent affinity for loud, tricked-out cars with way, way too many people in them.
But despite all the racket and honking, there were a lot of new adults out cleaning up the streets, too.
Moving closer to the main island of Japan, Kitakyushu also regularly makes the news for its fashion—particularly the pompadour hairstyle that was popular with yanki (basically, the “bad kids”) in the '80s! How it's managed to stay popular even today, we have no idea. But we admire their dedication!
But it’s not just the guys who put on their flashiest clothes. Some of the gyaru (funky fashion girls) of Kitakyushu pulled out all the stops with the largest hair we’ve seen in quite some time!
Other women in Kitakyushu dressed in the style of oiran, the colorful, beautiful, high-class courtesans of the Edo Period (1603-1868).
Finally, we’ve saved the best for last: Bungee jumping in a kimono!
In Hitachiota City, Ibaraki Prefecture, about 140 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, new adults lined up in suits and kimono to go bungee jumping, leaping off Ryujin Suspension Bridge, the highest bridge in Japan, to celebrate becoming adults. Although, we have to admit that we’re not sure which is scarier—falling off a bridge or dealing with being an adult…
New 20-year-olds in Japan celebrate Coming of Age Day with extreme fashion
Young woman celebrates adulthood with dizzying Hello Kitty/My Melody nails
Friezas continue their yearly tradition of cheering on runners in Japan’s New Year’s relay race