Seijin Shiki 成人式 2010 at Yokohama 横浜.
Seijin shiki is a ceremony for anyone in Japan who turns 20. Twenty is considered as an adult age in Japan, where adults could legally smoke, drink, and vote. It is held every Monday on the second week of January, this year was January 11th, in every city in Japan. It become a public holiday called sejin no hi (成人の日) Those who turn 20 between April 2009 and March 2010 and maintain their Japanese residency were invited. Lucky me, who turns 20 in June last year, was invited for seijin shiki at Yokohama Arena. I’m the youngest YSEP and I was the only one who invited. Unfortunately, Fafa, the same 20 in February 2009, my room mate also, wasn’t invited because her seijin shiki was should be last year.
So, seijin shiki could be compared to our graduation ceremony, in terms of enthusiasm, or to sweet seventeen in term of “party of being adult” in Indonesia. But since sweet seventeen party is private and only people who have money could do that (me myself didn’t have sweet seventeen, what a waste of money… I always have dinner on my birthdat with my family and that’s enough :D), I’d say sejin shiki is more similar to graduation ceremony in Indonesia. Because the entushiasm, and the cloth you have to wear is similar.
20-years old Japanese were looking forward to seijin shiki because they could wear beautiful kimono, reunion with friends, and in addition, legally smoke and drink. So for me as a gaijin, there’s no value for me to attend seijin shiki except photo hunt! I was not alone, there are a lot of people who crowded in seijin shiki just to get pictures.
So the newly-turned-20 female adults usually wear furisode (a kimono which has very long sleeve — it’s a symbol that people who wear that is an unmarried woman), while the male could wear hakama, but now you can see a lot of males just wear formal suit. And I think i saw a girl too who wear formal suit instead of furisode, while myself yesterday only wore my very thin kebaya.
Kebaya is my country’s one of traditional clothes. Since Indonesia is a tropical country, kebaya is designed for hot season, not supposed to be wear in winter like yesterday. So I always put on my coat for first: warmth, and second: to avoid curious stares from everyone in the seijin shiki and streets — haha, kidding. I was proud as gaijin that could wear my own traditional clothes to Japanese ceremony, no way I would hide it. The thing was, it was too cold so I have to kept my kebaya under my coat 😦
My friend said that in other city, you will be checked whether you are 20 or not by showingthe invitation ticket before entering the ceremony place, but not in Yokohama where there were too many people attend the ceremony. So I brought Fafa and Sujin (YSEP Korea) to accompany me. Really, they didn’t check us, my ticket was not asked either.
The ceremony was held inside an auditorium, very big, Fafa said that it’s 6 times bigger than Sabuga (our home university auditorium which claimed to be the biggest in Bandung). There were just Japanese speech with deaf person translator on the big, hanging TV in the auditorium, and then singing Yokohama city’s song. Taraaa.. the ceremony end. The speech was supposed to be motivating young generation to do their best, but nowadays not so many people hear it because they prefer to chat with friends, taking photos, and I heard that more and more pranks happened in the ceremony.
After the ceremony, usually the seijin gather to have a reunion with their school friends, or drink until drunk, or smoke.