Many cultures commemorate the transition of their youth into maturity. The Coming of Age Day, or Seiji no Hi, is celebrated in Japan on a more subdued note. But at what age is a person considered an adult in Japan?

Genpuku, the ancient customary coming-of-age ceremony, first appeared during the Nara period (710-794). It had a slightly different approach than its contemporary equivalent, however. The age of adulthood has varied over the years, ranging from 10 to the current age of 20. The majority age in Japan changed from 20 to 18 on April 1, 2022, marking the first time in more than 140 years. However, it will still be illegal for anyone under the age of 20 to enter bars, purchase cigarettes, consume alcoholic beverages, or gamble. The pre-day makeover of the soon-to-be women can be considered a ceremony in and of itself, and a costly one at that. Young women dress in lavish, vibrant kimonos, which are often rented furisodes. Then, throngs of girls head to beauty parlors to have their hair and cosmetics expertly arranged. Young men, on the other hand, are frequently better off dressing in a basic black kimono with a fluttering hakama or a suit and tie. Following the pampering, they complete the formalities in a meeting room, a school gym, or, more recently, Tokyo Disneyland. Speeches, goal statements, certificates, and—the most eagerly awaited of all—presents are all included in these.

The age at which one must assume adult duties varies from culture to culture. When do you think true adulthood begins?