Bottoms up! The kidz are super happy as they lurch toward adulthood.
Young men dressed in kimonos celebrate turning 20 at Nakano Sun Plaza’s Seiji No Hi coming of age ceremony. Overheard, 「お大人になちゃった。」Roughly translated, it means, “Oh shit, we’ve become adults.” As usual, the heavily inebriated youth were extremely friendly to the lone foreign lurker. Congratulations, everyone, and good luck!
The mayor of Aso City stuns 20 year olds at Coming of Age Day (Seiji no Hi) by singing and pantomiming a hit from AKB48, the 4 dozen popular faux school girls who are Japan’s most popular band and advertising monster. The mayor’s singing and emoting strike a stern warning to the young things to never become adults. Poor 20 year olds of Aso City! (Source: Neojapanisme)
I had a much better time greeting and mingling with the 20 year olds celebrating today outside Nakano Sun Plaza. The girls were a riot of faux rabbit and pink/orange/red kimonos and complicated updoes. Many of the boys fried their hair and en-bigg-ed it, paired with shiny suits evocative of men’s host clubs and mid-tier salary men and occasionally traditional men’s kimonos, one in shocking pink. More pix soon. Here’s last years’ photos!
I also met a very handsome Korean photographer, and realized I wasn’t the only one who came to gawk!
Alas, dear readers, this is my final Seijin no Hi photo. Perhaps the culmination of all the other photos. For reasons not made clear to this foreigner, the joyous 20 year olds are posing with one of them in the air with his legs spread wide. A particularly fetching boy seems to be reaching his hand towards legs-spread-wide’s groin.
I can only imagine how much more fun happened after they got drunker. There’s something practically Muslim about how almost all Japanese socializing is same sex. I love it!
Soon there was a horde of hot young 20 year olds combining traditional dress with big fried hair and excess testosterone. It didn’t take long for them to start falling all over each other, lit cigarettes in hand. I hope that they needed to pose for me, as much as I enjoyed their antics. I especially like how you can see inside the fallen boy’s skirt, I mean, “hakama” (袴).
This photo series is indebted to the chubby guy with the pink kimono who noticed my not subtle lurking and photographing. He called his friends for a huge yankii group pose on this important day that celebrates youths’ new ability to drink, smoke, get married, and other fun stuff.
Check out Danny Choo’s website for professional photos and more attention on the ladies. I focused strictly on the urban yankii male. It’s easy to be sex-specific in Japan because so many adults and teens socialize almost entirely with members of the same sex.
My first observation is that only the most bad-ass men are wearing kimonos, hakama, and haori. Many of their peers are wearing cheap suits, and spending all their vanity on their glorious hair: dyed, permed, back-combed, gelled, sprayed, and sculpted. Basically a junior salaryman look with extra attention on hair and eyebrows.
The next posts will focus more on rough-housing, misplaced energy, and male intimacy.
I apologize to my readers for so many sad and fugly pots. It’s time to turn your attention back to the Japanese islands, and images of hope, freedom and male vanity. On Monday’s Coming of Age (成人の日, Seijin no hi) holiday, I hit the Nakano yankii jackpot.
The location is the plaza and musical clock in front of Nakano Sun Plaza, the same site where this blog’s header image was taken three years ago. Despite the dwilndling numbers of young Japanese, these boys were very excited to pose and rough-house for the “gaijin.” I was quickly joined in the photo pool by three hot yankii 20 year old girls.
I’ll post more images over the next few days . .