Monday, January 14, 2013

Coming of Age Day

Today is "Coming of Age Day" in Japan.  For some reason it was celebrated yesterday in my area.

20 years of age is the official age for being considered an adult in Japan.  From age 20 one can legally vote and legally drink.  The cities hold ceremonies involving politicians and educators and speeches are given pertaining to the responsibilities of being an adult citizen in Japan.

All this is hear-say.  Neither of my kids attended their Coming of Age ceremony nor were even in Japan when they were 20.

However, for all the seriousness, the gaiety of the Coming of Age Day takes precedence in many peoples' minds.  Parents and daughters especially have been preparing for this day by making reservations for renting kimonos and getting the girls' hair done.  I have to admit, when I realized Leiya wasn't going to be around for the Coming of Age Day (four years ago for her), I was a bit disappointed that she would miss out on the chance to get all dressed up in kimono.  Of course the money we saved on that venture allows her a trip back to Japan!  A lot of money is moved for Coming of Age Day.

My neighbor asked me if I would be around in the morning after her daughter went to the beauty parlor and was dressed in kimono (and before the city ceremony), so around 8:00 Megumi-chan came by.  One GORGEOUS girl, one GORGEOUS kimono!

Megumi-chan explained that she decided on this kimono last February.  Everyone is renting the kimono on basically the same day so the earlier a person goes looking, the better chance she has of finding a kimono that suits her.

Megumi-chan chose a light pink kimono with cherry blossoms (sakura) all over it and a dark belt (obi) that also had a sakura motif.  


She said she chose the pink kimono over a more somber one because a woman can only wear these bright colors when she is very young.  There is a smattering of embroidery on some of those flowers.

There are so many ways that this obi can be tied, the fancier the better for the Coming of Age Day.  

The kimono you notice has these very long sleeves called furisode (swinging sleeves).  A married woman isn't supposed to wear a long sleeved kimono.

The kimono itself has decorative ties all over it partly for holding it in place, partly for decoration.  The way the cording is tied on the obi is very artistic.  And the small handkerchief like flower over the belt I've never seen before.

And the flowers in Megumi-chan's hair were real preserved flowers rather than silk ones that are usually used.

Even Megumi-chan's sandals (zori) had a sakura motif.

As Tetsu points out, Megumi-chan's mother looks more like an older sister.  Mother, people, mother!  But what a proud mother.  Don't the two of them look happy?  Ah~~ makes me a little envious. 

Megu-chan.  You are absolutely beautiful.  Thank you for including me in your special day.

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