Gorgeous gangsta boys and girls pose for our camera at Japan’s most out-there ceremony. 

It’s a public holiday in Japan today, and the annual day off is called Seijin no Hi, or “Coming of Age Day”, where the nation’s 20-year-olds celebrate their legally recognised age of adulthood with their friends and family.

And there’s no better way to celebrate than with a photo collection of this year’s new adults, straight from Kitakyushu, in Fukuoka on the southernmost island of Kyushu, which is known for having the most wild and gangsta-like seijinshiki Coming of Age Ceremony outfits in all the country.

The 20-year-olds of Kitakyushu gathered for a ceremony on Sunday, the day before Seijin no Hi, and they did not disappoint this year, with some of the most out-there costumes we’ve encountered yet.

▼ Turning 20 in the Year of the Boar.

Our reporter was on the scene to wish the attendees well and they were happy to pose for our camera, pulling out their best poses and making us wish we were 20 all over again.

So, without further ado, let’s get right to it and take a look at the boys and girls who officially became men and women at yesterday’s ceremony!

While most new adults dress in traditional kimono for Seijin no Hi ceremonies in other parts of the country, in Kitakyushu you’re not cool if your kimono doesn’t shine. The more colour, glitz and glam you can add to your outfit, the better.

While most of the huge costumes are rentals that have to be returned to stores at the end of the day, customised fans with your name printed on them are a keepsake memento you can keep forever.

▼ Boys say sayonara to their teenage years in robes and shiny hakama pants.

In Japan, the phrase “kata de kaze wo kiru” (“cut the air with your shoulders“), is used to describe someone confidently strutting around as if they own the place.

▼ Sharp shoulders are literally on point in Kitakyushu.

▼ Others went against the grain, choosing to strut around in Western-style suits instead.

▼ There were regular suits…

▼ Oversized jacket suits…

▼ Gangsta suits…

▼ And stylish three-piece suits on display.

▼ Lots of attendees added some eye-popping hairstyles to their already eye-popping outfits.

▼ Wait a second…

▼ Is that a boar headpiece???

Some decked themselves out in red and white, which are not only the colours on the Japanese flag, but a commonly recognised symbol of good luck.

▼ And some took their costumes one step further, into the realm of cosplay.

▼ This guy appears to be channeling Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver.
“‘You talkin’ to me?’”

▼ Elvis Presley even made an appearance.

Seijinshiki scenes from Kitakyushu are always full of colour and creativity, but they often draw mixed reactions from people around Japan.

Some people see them as a bright and enthusiastic display of youth, while others oppose the “yankee” look, which is commonly tied up with delinquent students and troublemakers.

Many people believe that these young men and women don’t really aspire to a life of crime and delinquency, though. It’s simply a fun way of celebrating with friends, and in a way that’s unique to their hometown of Kitakyushu.

Attendees often show their civic pride by holding large banners with the names of their schools or communities written on them.

This black-and-white banner clearly says “Futajima”, which is an area in Kitakyushu’s Wakamatsu Ward.

After scouring the sea of brightly coloured costumes, our reporter was happy, and a little surprised, to find some more familiar suits and kimono in amongst the crowd. Hurrah for non-conformity!

▼ While some of this year’s 20-year-olds looked sweet…

▼ …and some looked spicy…

▼ The one thing many of them had in common…

▼ Was the two-finger peace sign.

▼ No matter how you dress, or what you look like, here’s to a happy and peaceful 2019!

In 20 years time, this year’s newly anointed adults will be the same age as our 40-year-old reporter Masanuki, who recently relived his youth last year at Miyabi, the store where all the cool kids in Kitakyushu get their outfits from.

So who knows what the future holds for the young adults of Japan? Given their love of these out-there costumes though, which keep appearing year after year, the one thing we do know is that this tradition isn’t going away anytime soon.

Thanks for another great year of creativity, Kitakyushu! Can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for us next year!

Photos © SoraNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]