Seijin no Hi

※ Seijin no Hi was celebrated on 9th of January 2017 (second Monday of January).

"Seijin no Hi" ( 成人 の 日 , せいじんのひ) is translated as "Coming of Age Day" and stands for one of the 16 public holidays in Japan. Wikipedia says:

This national holiday was established in 1948 as a day to congratulate and encourage people who have reached the age of maturity (20) during the year. Cities and towns throughout the nation hold ceremonies for these people. Originally held on January 15, in 2000 it was changed to the second Monday of January in accordance with the Happy Monday System.


On the one hand, on this day young people misbehave and do not respect the law while partying (for example in this traffic situation) and on the other hand, it’s another opportunity to see people in beautiful dresses (Kimono and Yukata). I recognized, by hearing the sirenes, that the police was more busy this day than the other days of the week.

Felix raised a good question, I could not answer via chat: Which legal ages associated with maturity are there in Japan? Using data from Wikipedia, I will compare them with Austria:

Table 1. Comparison of legal ages between Japan and Austria
Legal age Japan Austria

of majority



of drinking alcohol


mostly 16+, but its 18+ for distilled beverages in 6 federal states

to attain a driver’s license

18+ (though depends on the car’s category)

18+ (17 with special training)

of smoking



of marriage

20+ (18 for males and 16 for females with parental consent)

18+ (16 with parental consent but the other partner must be 18+)

to have a (hetero-)sexual relationship (i.e. age of consent)

13+, 18+ or 20+


for criminal responsibility



for candidancy for a political office

25+ or 30+

18+ (general) or 35+ (presidential election)

to leave school (de jure)



to vote

18 (changed from 20 in 2016)


to work

13+, 15+

13+, 15+, 18+

of gun ownership



… and as usual, a good article by tofugo covers Is Underage Drinking and Smoking a Problem In Japan?.

Remark: On 31st of March 2017, it was announced that Austria will increase the minimum legal smoking age from 16 to 18.