Japanese style usually errs on the conservative side, but not at this ceremony. 

On the second Monday of every year, Japan celebrates a public holiday known as “Seijin no Hi” (“Coming of Age Day“) to honour the new generation of young adults who turned 20 during the current fiscal year.

These young individuals mark their entry into legal adulthood by taking part in “Seijinshiki” (“Coming of Age Ceremonies“) held by their local cities, where they dress in formalwear like suits and kimonos.

Down in Fukuoka Prefecture’s Kitakyushu City, however, they take things to wild extremes by dressing in outlandish, over-the-top fashions, inspired by bosozoku biker gangs and yankee delinquents.

This year, the city’s Seijinshiki took place at Kitakyushu Media Dome on 7 January, and we were there to help cheer on the next generation of adults, capturing their colourful outfits in all their glory.

▼ The outfits might be wild, but the behaviour shouldn’t be, so alcoholic beverages and dangerous items are prohibited, with participants’ belongings inspected before entry into the building.

Security guards were stationed around the area, creating a slightly ominous atmosphere, but those who wanted to let loose stayed outside the venue, where they used megaphones to chant out the names of their hometowns within the city.

▼ Some of the places mentioned were Kokura, Tobata and Moji.

Kokura is home to Miyabi, a store that designs and rents many of these over-the-top kimonos to attendees, and who once even helped our own reporter transform into a badass with a wild outfit of his own.

While Miyabi sometimes receives criticism from local residents who believe the ceremony should be more sedate and therefore take offence to the in-your-face attire, the store was invited to show some of its kimono at New York Fashion Week last September.

▼ A kimono with rainbow-coloured faux fur like the ones below was one of the outfits shown in New York.

After Miyabi showcased Kitakyushu’s wild fashions on the world stage, the mayor even threw his support behind the controversial attire, saying it would be helpful in promoting the city.

▼ Locals like these are proud to help promote the unique style.

According to reports, Paris and Milan are now calling for Miyabi to show these styles in their cities this year, so this event is poised to become even more world-famous in the future.

With outfits as extraordinary as these, it’s not surprising that the world wants to see them, so let’s take a look at some of the best looks from the day below!

We’ll ease our way into the festivities by checking out some of the suits, which included beige neutrals…

▼ …three-piece retro styles…

▼…a splash of gold…

▼…bright pink…

▼ …and a velvet number.

One attendee made everyone do a double-take, with his uncanny likeness to…

▼…Kim Jong Un?

▼ While some opted for formal suits, others went with tracksuits.

▼ One person took the suit memo to extremes, clomping around in…

▼ …a shiny suit of armour!

As always, the event is as much about the individual as it is about friendship, and many groups gathered in matching outfits, like a modern-day assembly of samurai clans at a battleground.

The huge banners and folding fans emblazoned with the names of individuals and their wards or cities act as mementos that can be cherished for years to come.

The fans also offer a way to send humorous messages to others in their midst.

▼ The fans below, for example, read (left to right): “Main Character“, “Photography Permitted” and “Photography Prohibited“.

Although it seems like the lad on the right had a change of heart with the photography prohibition later on.

▼ Others chose to dress their looks up with commemorative parasols…

▼ …and a lucky rake, to rake in luck in the coming year.

▼ You don’t celebrate your 20th every year, so the kimonos that many women chose to wear were absolutely stunning.

▼ One woman was even interviewed by a local TV station.

▼ While some people chose to stick close to their partners or friends…

▼…at one point a lone ranger could be seen approaching.

According to the banner, this was someone called Daiya entering the fray, with what looked to be a family member holding the flag that announced her presence.

It was a bold way to arrive at the venue, and equally bold were the attendees in extravagant wigs and kimono.

▼ These rainbow-patterned faux fur outfits steal the show every year.

▼ Plain fur outfits were equally extravagant, and cosy for the cold weather too.

And if you really want to stay warm, why not shelter under a giant bouquet of balloons, flowers and cuddly plushies?

It’s all about going over the top and taking things to the extreme at the Kitakyushu Seijinshiki, and after looking back at the ceremonies from 2021, 2022 and 2023, things just seem to be getting bigger every year.

At this rate, who knows what the new generation of adults will bring us in 2025? At any rate, we hope all of this year’s new adults have a wonderful future ahead — may it be as bright and dazzling as their costumes!

Photos © SoraNews24
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