Irked by loud attire, Kitakyushu urges young adults to dress right on Coming-of-Age Day

by

Staff Writer

With Coming-of-Age Day taking place Monday, the city of Kitakyushu has an important message for the attendees: Dress fittingly.

The city says it is tired of seeing what has become a common occurrence at the annual event — new adults dressing inappropriately, spoiling the solemn atmosphere.

In recent years, Kitakyushu’s Coming-of-Age Day ceremonies have been marked by young men wearing vividly colored hakama, a trouser component of the kimono, making them look like hooligans to some.

A number of them also wave flags as they drive around in convertibles to celebrate.

The new women meanwhile are starting to wear a looser-fitting style of kimono that exposes the shoulders in a way used by oiran, the high-class prostitutes of the Edo Period.

“The coming-of-age ceremony is supposed to be a serious event where you demonstrate your recognition that you have become an independent adult,” said Kitakyushu official Yasuhiro Iida.

Fed up with the trends, the city has taken the unprecedented step of setting up a website to educate new 20-year-olds on appropriate attire for the event.

The website, launched last November, followed mounting complaints about inappropriate attire, Iida said.

Groups of fledgling adults erupting into drunken frenzies and sabotaging the events have nearly become synonymous with TV coverage of the holiday in some parts of the nation.

But not all of them are that way. Some put on showy attire and often “turn raucous,” but they don’t necessarily disturb the ceremony itself by vandalizing property or getting into fights, Iida said.

Instead, they show good sense by skipping the event altogether and meet up in a nearby park, he said.

  • tomado

    God save the city of KitaKyushu. Hope the young ones think if more and better ways to stick it to the control-freakish selfish old fogies. They should figure out whatever it is that most upsets the “authorities” and promote the wearing of that. What these old folks most deserve is to have their own hollow moralizing shoved in their faces.

    • Km1000

      Tomado obviously doesn’t understand that Japan, unlike practically every other country in the world, still has citizens with decent morals… Where else in the world can you leave a laptop pic unattended on your table in a coffee shop, or walk around with your wallet sticking out your back pocket and not have it stolen? It’s these morals that Japan needs to preserve, and if, tomado, you don’t understand that, then you are not welcome in Japan.

      • Jonathan Fields

        Because wearing loud clothes on your coming of age day is a slippery slope to laptop theft and pickpocketing? What a silly comment you’ve written.

      • Jonathan Fields

        Because wearing loud clothes on your coming of age day is a slippery slope to laptop theft and pickpocketing? What a silly comment you’ve written.

      • Pink Floyd

        Yeah morals, like lying about Fukushima, or falsifying data on the foundations of apartment complexes in Yokohama, or the yakuza who are seen as a part of Japanese culture, or kiddie porn manga, perfectly legal of course, oh yeah those morals, they’re great arent they? not like us western barbarians who don’t wash.

    • Pink Floyd

      Meanwhile those said old gits go around doing Enjokosai, otherwise known as ” school girl prostitution” and of course thats fine with society cause they are just ” ojisan” and can do what they like…. Japan really needs a bunch of young people to just stick it up the backsides of the status quo.

      • Km1000

        nah, what japan really needs is for foriegners the likes of yourself, living in japan, taking the fabulous society for granted, to pack your bags and piss off back to your own countries…

      • Jonathan Fields

        How about this? I’m not allowed to complain about anything anymore, but I get to vote. Or I don’t have to pay taxes. You say we don’t belong here because we aren’t natives, but I guarantee I contribute far more to society than 90% of Japanese people in terms of lives touched, jobs created, and taxes paid. If I’m allowed to keep all the money I make here OR I get to vote, then I’ll gladly give up my right to complain about stupidity.

      • Yuki

        You don’t get to vote because you’re not a citizen. You still have to pay taxes because you use the infrastructure (roads, fire protection, etc.) that they pay for.

        I’m not sure where you get the idea you can’t complain. You can. People will see you as an annoyance, but you can still complain.

        Also, that’s a very strong guarantee. Can you provide more concrete details on how you have contributed far more than Japanese people have?

      • Jonathan Fields

        You seem to be looking at my comment in a vacuum. It was a response to someone who has come into this thread about young Japanese people moving away from traditions and used it as an excuse to tell foreigners to go home. He or she says my only options are to never complain or go home, so I offered a different solution.

      • Km1000

        Or you could just work in Japan, presumably you are here because you like the country, pay your taxes and not moan about the politics/society that are supporting and enabling your lifestyle.

      • Jonathan Fields

        I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the point went over your head.

      • Pink Floyd

        his head is too far up his backside in the first place.

      • Pink Floyd

        his head is too far up his backside in the first place.

      • Pink Floyd

        and what japan really needs is for gaijin monkeys like yourself to extract your head out of your own arse and bugger off back to your own country..

  • AmIJustAPessimistOrWhat?

    Legally speaking, I guess it would be up to the management of each individual shrine management what kind of dress code would be enforced, if at all. It’s certainly understandable that religious/traditional organizations desire to maintain some traditional format at the ceremonies for which they are responsible – and I certainly feel that desire and gratitude for their efforts deserves respect.

    Just a theory, but perhaps the local shrines have collectively reached out to the city for help on this issue, preferring civil public discourse to any attempt to enforce dress codes by their legal prerogative.

    I like those signs you always see at the shrines:
    sekai ga heiwa de arimasu yo ni

  • J.P. Bunny

    Loud clothes on Coming Of Age Day?? The horrors! Aside from NHK, turn on the TV and try to find “adults” wearing clothes that won’t burn out your retinas.

    If the city is fed up with the trend, then don’t hold the ceremony anymore.

    • Kanpekiboy

      let them complain, its good to see a bit of anti establishment. have to agree with with above comments!

  • http://registeredalien.weebly.com gpiper

    I’m so sick of hearing the old men whine about the young’s behaviour at these events. Abandoning the event and going off by themselves for their own celebration seems like a good idea. If enough young people do it then it will touch the status quo where it counts – in the pocket book, probably. “Solemn atmosphere”? It’s supposed to be a celebration, not a funeral. Officialdom is the
    problem. Being an independent adult means you are free to do what you want within the law. Kitakyushu city officials are wrong and confused. Maybe they’re sincere. They’re sincerely wrong and confused. City officials are accountable to the adult population, and their duty is to serve. They fail.

  • Jonathan Fields

    Net uyoku spotted. I don’t even know how to respond to something so stupid.

    • Km1000

      Right wing, absolutely. You don’t know how to respond? Pity, you can’t be too bright then.

  • J.P. Bunny

    This “long standing” holiday only came into being after WWII, so much for tradition. If one is living and working in Japan, then that person is not a guest. Hosts do not require guests to pay taxes, rent, etc. “Go back to your own country”, please to come up with something more original.

    • Km1000

      Sorry, you are only living/working in japan, why on earth should anyone expect you to pay taxes….? And if “go back to your own country” is unoriginal, perhaps you often hear that from people for a good reason?

    • Km1000

      Sorry, you are only living/working in japan, why on earth should anyone expect you to pay taxes….? And if “go back to your own country” is unoriginal, perhaps you often hear that from people for a good reason?

    • Km1000

      Sorry, you are only living/working in japan, why on earth should anyone expect you to pay taxes….? And if “go back to your own country” is unoriginal, perhaps you often hear that from people for a good reason?

  • http://registeredalien.weebly.com gpiper

    Truly, it’s nice to see men and women in traditional attire. But the hypocrisy of the staged event is nauseating.

  • http://registeredalien.weebly.com gpiper

    Truly, it’s nice to see men and women in traditional attire. But the hypocrisy of the staged event is nauseating.

  • Shona Sijin Marion McCarthy

    People are saying that the Kitakyushu residents are being too uptight, but if you read the article carefully the problem isn’t just the style of dress; it’s the fact that there are been legitimate cases of vandalism, riots, drunkenness and a general lack of respect. I’m all for creativity, but in a ceremony at a place of worship, where you’re meant to be demonstrating your maturity and sense of responsibility there needs to be some regard for tradition, and some self-discipline. Otherwise there’s no point in holding it.

  • Haruko

    What is the website “to educate new 20-year-olds on appropriate attire for the event”? I would like to see it.