The traditional coming of age event is known as the Seijin Shiki. This is one event that is unique as it is observed as a national event. All of the new adults, who have come to the age of majority can participate. The event itself is to congratulate them at their new role in society as well as encourage them to be positive participants in it.
Young men wear business suits or traditional dark colored hakama pants, while the young women adorn themselves in very special kimonos called furisode, which is unique due to it’s long sleeves. Girls cannot wear furisode kimonos until they reach adulthood, so the Coming of Age Day is the first time they can wear the attire.
The key element of the festivities is the colorful kimonos, with their bright colors and intricate designs. Authentic kimonos also are very expensive, with the most expensive ones reaching as much as 1 million yen. The young ladies also spend considerable time and money on their beauty shop treatments to go along with the kimono as well.
Photos courtesy Paul D. Bolton.
More pictures are available at the gallery site of Paul. D. Bolton. http://www.pbase.com/pdbolton/seijin_no_hi&page=all