Seijinshiki translates to “Coming of Age Ceremony” which is a celebration in Japan for when you officially become an adult. This year my sister Spocky turned 20 and we took her Seijinshiki photos, just like I did 5 years ago.
Seijin-no-hi (成人の日, Coming of Age Day) is a public holiday on the second Monday of the year where young men and women gather to celebrate joining society as an adult. Ceremonies are held across the country and for many, essentially also serves as a reunion as you normally attend the seijinshiki of your hometown. Since we grew up abroad, both my sister and I celebrated simply by wearing a furisode, visiting the shrine with our grandparents, having our photos taken and sushi for dinner – super lowkey.
Furisode is a type of kimono for women which is different from standard kimonos because of their very long sleeves. (Men usually wear a western suit with some opting to wear a hakama.) Traditionally, you wear furisode until you get married but nowadays it is equated as a kimono for young women.
Many people rent their furisode because they are expensive and you don’t really have many opportunities to wear it afterwards. My sister and I both wore our mother’s furisode which she also wore 30 years ago. The beauty of the kimono is that it really is timeless and you can dress it up with the accessories and hair to make it of-the-time, as you can see the difference between how even me and my sisters was styled, only 5 years apart. I hope to pass this kimono down to our kids so that the tradition can be continued.
So happy half-birthday Spocky! How does it feel to be 20.5 years old? You’ve experienced “adulthood” for 6 months, any insights? Do you remember that Arthur episode where Prunella had a half birthday party and everyone gave her half of something like half a baseball? Well, I’m dedicating half of this post to you!
Happy (half) birthday to my Spocky
I have watched you grow up, I’ve been there since day 1. Literally. At times, I have even raised you as your second mother. We’ve played together, we’ve fought a lot, we’ve watched a ton of VHS tapes together, we’ve created whole worlds together fueled only by our wild, wild imaginations.
While growing up, our relationship was bumpy at times but now I am so glad to have you by my side. No one can make me laugh as much as you do, you are practical and you ground me. I love using you as my makeup guinea pig. I love netflixing and cuddling in bed with you. I love your facial expressions (other than the one you use to terrorize me).
So here’s my advice to you as you enter adulthood…
Life is too short to be hanging out with people you don’t like, people who don’t make you feel uplifted and inspired and happy.
Keep in touch with old friends, but also let them go if you’ve both changed in unreconcilable ways.
Be kind. You can never be too kind.
Be compassionate, to yourself.
Never make assumptions. People will take things and understand things in ways you can NEVER imagine, so don’t assume anything, good or bad.
And continuing from that, communicate communicate communicate.
Call (y)our mother. Often.
You are so intelligent, hard-working, hilarious, good-hearted, and beautiful. I can’t wait to see all of the amazing things you do with your life. I love you!