Japan's Coming of Age Day (seijin no hi), happens on the second Monday of January. If you turn 20 between April 1st the previous year and March 31st of the current year, you are able to attend the ceremonies and festivities they have for these young adults.
Every city and town hold their own ceremonies (seijinshiki), for their residents who come of age. The ceremony is to congratulate them for joining the ranks of adulthood. But more importantly, it's a ceremony to encourage them to understand the importance to look forward and plan for the future.
I had the opportunity to participate in a seijinshiki when I was 20 years old. I happen to be living in Fukuoka at the time and they held the ceremony in a huge auditorium that seated thousands of people. It's been so long ago that I really don't remember who spoke that day. I want to say that they had an olympic gold medalist for Judo speak to us but I really don't remember.
Getting back to the subject of the post! Because the regular Coming of Age day is held on the 2nd Monday of January, it's tough for most college students to make it back for their Coming of Age Day here in Amami when they have to be at school the following days. So Amami holds it's own Coming of Age Day on January 5th when most are home for the holidays.
Moe is my wife's cousin. She is back from college for the holidays and her Coming of Age Day. I wanted to go out and take photos of our new adults here in Amami but I had to work and just couldn't find the time. I did however wake up early to meet Moe at a beauty salon to take some photos of her getting ready.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 46mm, 1/30 sec, f/5.3, ISO 250 -- EXIF
Hair & Makeup
Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm, f/3.5-5.6 @ 35mm, 1/60 sec, f/5.3, ISO 400 -- EXIF
Tools of the Trade
When they finished with most of her hair and makeup, they took her upstairs to put on her kimono. I took this time to go check out another nearby beauty salon that my friend owns. It just so happen that I bumped into one of my previous English students there.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/25 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/25 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Kazuma is a good kid. He doesn't cause his parents too much grief and he's kind and helpful. He plays guitar and sings in a band. Although I've never heard him play, I hear he's pretty good. He told me that one of his band members is going to purpose to his girlfriend that day. What an exciting day.
I went back to the beauty salon to check if Moe was ready and they were just doing some finishing touches. She had a reservation at a photo studio close by that she needed to get to so I just snapped a few shots just outside the salon. I really would have liked to have taken her to the beach or somewhere a little more photogenic, but we didn't have the time.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/20 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 105mm, 1/200 sec, f/4.8, ISO 400 -- EXIF
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 125mm, 1/100 sec, f/5.0, ISO 400 -- EXIF
Looking to the Future
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 72mm, 1/160 sec, f/4.2, ISO 400 -- EXIF
And Off in That Other Direction...
Her kimono is Tsumugi. Tsumugi is the special kind of kimonos they make here in Amami. Most of the time, the girls wear what they call a furisode kimono for their Coming of Age Day. A furisode kimono is a kimono with long sleeves. Furisode literally means, "swinging sleeves". Tsumugi on the other hand doesn't have the furisode style. Her Tsumugi kimono is more a traditional kimono from here in Amami.
I also did a bit of post editing on the last 3 photos in Photoshop CS3 to take care of some facial blemishes that young people are prone to. Nothing too serious. I also added some vignettes from Lightroom 2.