In Japan, Coming of Age Day is the second Monday in January. It is the day to celebrate youngsters who reach the age of twenty between April 2nd of the previous year and April 1st of the new year. Many coming of age ceremonies take place in cities and towns across Japan. The youths over twenty are regarded as adults and gain all the rights of citizenship, such as the right to vote. It is also the age from which it is legal to drink and smoke in Japan. In this ceremony, the young men and women wear Japanese traditional clothes, especially women wear “furisode kimono”. Furisode, the most gorgeous form of kimono named after its long swinging sleeves, is the most formal kimono for unmarried women.
But in this year, 2012, people in Japan hesitated to cerebrate the coming of age ceremony because of the March 11th 2011 tragedy. Especially, people in Tohoku were considering giving up taking part in their ceremonies, because their town had not yet recovered.
I saw a TV show about Coming of Age Day in Ishinomaki. Ishinomaki is a sea side town in Miyagi prefecture. People taking part in the ceremony in Ishinomaki couldn't look forward to their coming of age ceremony because of the tragedy. One Japanese woman wrote on her website, "Let's lend our "furisode" to young women in Ishinomaki" for the coming of age ceremony, and she received 40 furisode kimonos with heart-warming letters.
On January 9th 2012, young women in Ishinomaki could wear beautiful furisode kimonos and joined their ceremony. Thanks to many kind people, they could enjoy their ceremony. They wanted to say "Thank you very much" to people helping Tohoku residents.
My English teacher Mr. Dickson volunteered in Ishinomaki so I wanted to share this story with him so he would know how grateful the people of Tohoku are, and also to say thank you very much for his hard work in Ishinomaki.