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Coming of age

The coming of age is the moment at which a teenager legally becomes an adult.


In Japan this is at the age of 20. Since 1948, the ceremony has been annuary held on the Coming of Age day, the second Monday of January (the day used to be on January 15 until the year 1999). The day is a national holiday and local governments generally hold some ceremony. Females tend to wear yukata, a traditional Japanese formal dress. After this age, the right to smoke, drink and vote is granted to them. It was known as genpuku (see the section below) among samurai in the past.


Genpuku (元服) in Japan was a celebration that showed a samurai was considered to be an adult. The age of genpuku varied roughly from 12 to 18. They usually changed their name from their birth name to an adult name, changed their hair style and were started to be treated as an adult, for example, by separation from their mother or governess. Some were even given a territory to protect. No samurai was allowed to marry before genpuku. Females did not have genpuku or any equivalent ceremony.