Saturday, December 7, 2019

Japanese Coming-of-Age Ceremony (成人の日) at Pitt for students turning 20, January 10.

The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center and English Language Institute will hold its annual Seijin-no-shiki (Coming of Age) ceremony on January 10 for students turning 20. The idea emerged three years ago because Pitt's ELI hosts a large cohort of Yasuda Women's University students each year who miss the traditional ceremony offered in Hiroshima. Several local publications---including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tribune Review, and City-Paper---have covered the ceremony over the last two years. Meanwhile, Japan Visitor introduces the day and its traditions:
Seijin Shiki or 成人式 could be translated as 'Coming of Age Day Ceremony' in English. Seijin-no-hi (Coming of Age Day) is a Japanese public holiday that occurs on every second Monday of January.

Coming of Age Day or Adult's Day honors every person that has turned 20 years old over the past year. When young people reach twenty they officially become adults in Japanese society and they now have responsibilities as well as newfound liberties: such as being able to drink, smoke, go to hostess bars, gamble and to drive legally. The voting age was lowered from 20 to 18 in 2015.

The girls always wear gorgeous and very expensive kimono, although most admit to having rentals as the outfit is worth up to 1,000,000 yen. The boys usually wear a regular suit and tie but a few will wear traditional Japanese dress.

The event starts at 7:00 pm in the University Club's Ballroom A (map). Those who are turning 20 between April 2019 and April 2020 who are interested in participating should email by December 15.