Why is coming of age in Japan 20 years old, not 18 like most countries?

It’s a lucky number (which is also why the 20th of the month has a special number that doesn’t follow the counting sequence), and has stayed that way since the first official age of majority was declared in the Meiji era (before that boys came of age at around 15). Knowing Japan, I’m guessing young people have never been in a hurry to grow up and get involved in politics, especially as the drinking and smoking limit of 20 has been widely ignored until recently. There are plans to make it 18 in the next few years, though.

Much more Japanese coming of age stuff on the Seijin no hi Explained page on the right


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