Tokyobling's Blog

Seijinshiki – Coming of Age Ceremony at Meiji Shrine

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on February 7, 2014

One of the most important days in the life of any Japanese is the Seijin no hi (成人の日), the coming of age day and the ceremony that marks a Japanese person’s entrance into adulthood. While last year’s ceremony here in Tokyo was marked by a massive (at least by Tokyo standards) snowstorm, this year we had much better weather. I took these photos at Tokyo’s grand Meiji Shrine (明治神宮) as the young beauties were coming to pay their respect at the shrine. We certainly had nothing like this in Europe when I grew up!

For most young women the day starts early in the morning as they prepare their kimono, the make up and their hair settings. It can take a couple of hours to get ready and people often book their hair salon months ahead. Little old ladies up and down the country is recruited en masse to help the young ladies put on their kimono. Even normal everyday kimono are daunting for today’s young and these elaborate setups are impossible to achieve on your own, even for the very few twenty year olds that have gone to the trouble of learning how to do it.

It is great to see these young people and their parents brimming with pride! There are few young men dressing up in kimono as well, but they are so few I almost never manage to get any good photos of them. This year I think I saw two, at the Meiji shrine. Not all young people wear kimono though, there are quite a few people who are happy with a sombre black suit and a few people who make a point of wearing outrageous costumes sure to irritate their elders, all in the manner of youth in all countries, during all times. These young women in the photos however, are most probably the pride of their families!

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10 Responses

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  1. remszi said, on February 7, 2014 at 6:02 am

    Wonderful! I adore these photos!

    Like

  2. FujikoToyohashi said, on February 7, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Beautiful photos and a great post (^_^)

    Like

  3. Kru Cu said, on February 7, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    So adorable! I am in love with their kimono!

    Like

  4. Dina Farmer said, on February 8, 2014 at 4:19 am

    I always love when you showcase the Coming of Age Ceremony! Beautiful photos as normal. Too bad about the guys! LOL

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on February 10, 2014 at 12:43 am

      Thank you Dina! Yes, I was looking for the guys… next year I will try harder! (^-^) An all male seijinshiki post would be great! (^-^;)

      Like

  5. nat.a.ly said, on February 8, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    They’re so lovely! :D

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on February 10, 2014 at 12:44 am

      They really are! (^-^) Make you envious, doesn’t it? I wish I had been this lovely at that age… (^-^;)

      Like


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