Draped in dazzling kimono, thousands of expensively made-up young women marked their entry into adulthood on Monday — with many planning a night of boozing to celebrate.
Formal Coming-of-Age ceremonies, which began as a rite of ancient samurai families, were held across the nation for 20-year-olds, reminding them of their responsibilities after becoming old enough to legally drink alcohol and smoke.
As they fidgeted with mobile phones and stifled yawns during the speeches, the contrast in financial outlay between the sexes was obvious, with most men opting for the kind of plain business suit they will wear as salarymen in the future.
“I did think ‘yikes, I’m an adult’ when I turned 20,” said sales assistant Reiko Nakamura as a beautician fussed over her synthetic lashes.
“I have to think about my future so it’s a little scary,” she added, admiring her dagger-sharp Hello Kitty nails. “For now I just want to enjoy a night out drinking with friends I haven’t seen since primary school.”