Seijinshiki – Coming of Age Ceremony
This year the Seijin no hi, the coming of age day took place on Monday the 13th. That Monday is always a public holiday dedicated to celebrating the young people turning 20 and thus “coming of age”. In the old days this ceremony was reserved to highest nobility, but gradually it filtered down through the social classes and for the last 40-50 years it has been more common than not to celebrate it even among ordinary people. Even then it is easy to see how much the economic situation has changed as you look at photos of the parents of the people coming of age this year. The dressing, accessories and hairstyles has really evolved even since the beginning of this century.
I took these photos at Tokyo’s largest shrine, the Meiji Jingu in Shibya Ward. It was a relatively warm sunny winter day, completely different from last year’s coming of age day, when an unexpected snow storm put a halt to most festivities in the city. The young women (and some men) that I saw at the shrine were all in high spirits and looked fantastic. It feels slightly unreal to be surrounded by dozens of these beauties!