Dressed in gaudy kimonos and other traditional-inspired clothes, young Japanese have embraced their grown-up freedoms on the national Coming of Age day. Downing alcohol and smoking cigarettes were naturally part of the feast.
Dozens of Japanese 20-year-olds gathered outside the Kitakyushu Media Dome in southern Japan Sunday to celebrate the beginning of adult life, dancing around waving flags and umbrellas.
Celebrations were also held across the country, with huge numbers of young people flocking to Tokyo’s Meiji Shrine and Disneyland in Chiba Prefecture.
Dating back to Japan’s feudal era, the national holiday is celebrated on the second Monday of each year and marks the passage to adulthood, as turning 20 means that young Japanese can legally smoke, drink and get married, as well as being expected to face up to less invigorating responsibilities like finding a job.
This year’s Coming of Age Day celebrates all who turned 20 since 2017, as well as those who will turn 20 before March 31. As of as of January 1, there were an estimated 1.23 million new adults, unchanged since the previous year and half that of 1970, reflecting Japan’s aging and shrinking population.
“My parents warned me not to go mad tonight,” one reveler told AFP. “I suppose I have to be more responsible now I’m officially an adult. But I’m not confident that I won’t be very drunk later tonight.”