January 15th is Seijin-no-hi. It was established as a national holiday in 1948. On this day, those who have turned 20 are blessed and a coming-of-age ceremony is held.
In Japan, on turning 20, one is recognized as an adult. The age of 20 is an important point when one is granted full allowed from this age. Most women attend this ceremony in a colorful, long-sleeved kimonos.
What did I do on that day when I reached 20? I was in my second year at my university on my Coming-of-Age Day. My university is located 3 kilometers from Osaka which is the second biggest city in Japan and 400 kilometers from my hometown.
That ceremony is held by the city, and the city sends invitations. I took out my resident’s card from my hometown on moving to go to the university and forgot to report to Osaka City Hall.
No invitation reached me, of course. No resident’s tax, no invitation! But I was not alone. I had a friend just like me. We went out to see girls in Kimonos in downtown Osaka (so crowded!) on my motorcycle which I bought myself to celebrate my 20th birthday that summer.