Seijinshiki 2020: Kitakyushu's Coming of Age Ceremony dazzles in the Year of the Rat -- Jan 15
Kitakyushu welcomes its first Coming of Age Ceremony of the Reiwa Era in its typical outrageous fashion(s).

Turning 20 marks the societal threshold for adulthood in Japan. Every year on the second Monday of January, known as Seijin no Hi (Coming of Age Day), crowds of Japanese youths who turned 20 the previous year or who will turn 20 by the coming April take part in a ceremony known as Seijinshiki, the Coming of Age Ceremony, in their hometowns. These ceremonies are quite formal in nature and participants are supposed to don their most elegant suits and kimono–most of the time, that is.

The city of Kitakyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture has been turning heads for quite some time now thanks to many of their 20-year-olds decking themselves out in the most garish outfits imaginable to mark their entry into adulthood. It’s become something of a tradition for us as well to send one of our reporters to the city to document each year’s most outlandish get-ups. The kinds of outfits that this particular group of young adults tends to wear would likely give their obaachan a heart attack.

Kitakyushu’s first Seijinshiki of the Reiwa Era saw 20-year-olds gathering excitedly a day early on the morning of Sunday, January 12 at the Kitakyushu Media Dome. Our reporter remarks that this year he was surprised to see bag security checks at the gates leading into the hall. A number of guards were stationed around the grounds as well. Perhaps it was a precaution in case any of the youths became a little too boisterous, as many of their get-ups incorporate elements reminiscent of the subculture styles worn by bosozoku biker gangs or yankee delinquents. A street fight among yankees did break out in Yokohama after last year’s ceremony, after all.

In addition to slight rain the day was also fairly windy, but that didn’t deter the spirits of those on the verge of adulthood. The ceremony processional started promptly at 10:30 am amidst wild cheers. As group after group of costumed characters entered the stadium, there were murmurs in the crowd that “Reiwa is the new Sengoku Jidai (Warring States Era) of Japanese history.”

News source:
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