Happy Coming of Age Day!
If you were walking around Japan today, you'd see girls in groups dressed in the finest kimono, with white fur around their necks to shield them from the cold. This is a special day for all who turn twenty this year. Why twenty? It's like turning eighteen here in the States. It marks the beginning of adulthood, responsibility, blah blah blah. Isn't it fabulous to celebrate a day for you on a day that is not your birthday? I suppose the down side is just how much of a financial burden this tradition can be.
Read about the specifics of this holiday here, see pictures of this year's fashion here, or watch a video of celebrity-hounding youngsters here.
And to personalize this entry a bit, here's a picture taken in Nara-ken, where I used to live. The girl in the red is one of my former students, Nana. She looked so gorgeous!