Dressing up for Japan’s Coming of Age Day (成人の日)
On the second Monday of January, Japan’s Coming of Age Day (成人の日) takes place. The holiday congratulates and emboldens young men and women who turned the legal adult age of 20 during the previous year. On this day, the 20-year-old men and women will often have their portraits taken by professional photographers, attend ceremonies hosted by city or prefectural halls and gather for middle school and high school reunions.
The day is full of celebration events, many of which are attended in formal dress. This consists of fashionable suits or traditional Japanese menswear called hakama (袴) for men and gorgeously designed kimonos with long sleeves called furisode (振り袖) for women. The event is of particular importance for women and often requires going to beauty salons early in the morning to have hair and makeup styled as well as picking out the perfect furisode well in advance. Lately, girls will also have their manicures match the designs of their kimonos.