And pompadours? You bet!

As always, the second Monday of the year is Coming of Age Day in Japan. During the public holiday, all young folks who turned 20 in the previous year gather for a special ceremony in celebration of their adulthood.

However, some places like Kitakyushu add an extra layer of flair to the proceedings. As we saw last year, coming of age here – at least for those who associate with the subculture of rough-and-tumble working class types known as “yankees” – involves lavish outfits, make-up, and hairstyles.

This year saw some new additions around the city’s Media Dome though, in the form of rickshaws to give these leaders of tomorrow an extra classy ride around the premises.

Yankees are known for their civic pride and often bring along banners and flags with their names or the names of their communities or schools written on them.

Every now and then, they would also shout out the names of these places in unison. With all the banners and battle cries you might think they were about to go to war with each other. But there was no fighting on this day, at least not while our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma was around. Everyone was very friendly and open to having their picture taken.

Unfortunately, scuffles and alcohol-fueled mischief are not unheard of at these ceremonies. However, for the vast majority of participants, it’s just about having a good time and living it up while you’re still young.

While some of the more extreme attendees bared their flesh on the chilly winter day, many opted to keep warm by pairing their outfits with fake fur stoles.

▼ Fake fur trimmings were popular with male attendees too.

One of the day’s must-have accessories, though, was the folding fan, which proudly displayed their names, and sometimes the words “Kitakyushu” in Japanese.

There was much more to the day than just outfits and accessories, as the young people of Kitakyushu were creating memories with friends to last a lifetime.

By the way, some of these ensembles (hair, make-up, nails, clothing rental) are said to cost upwards of 400,000 yen (US$3,500). The guy who appears to have had his entire head of hair crafted into a German shepherd’s head is probably entering that territory.

▼ And hey, who are these weirdos in suits?!

And so, another vibrant and hopefully incident-free Coming of Age Day ceremony comes to a close. As these young women and men head out into the world we wish them he best of luck. Who knows? Maybe one of them will eventually become Prime Minister of Japan… At least we hope so, because then we’d have some really juicy pictures of him or her.

Photos: SoraNews24
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