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Birthdays / coming of age question

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grimalkin
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Joined: January 18th, 2008 2:17 pm

Birthdays / coming of age question

Postby grimalkin » January 25th, 2008 4:11 pm

I'm hoping someone can answer this question for me about birthdays and coming of age day in Japan.

I was reading something where people were talking about a European girl talking about her birthday, and the other girls were feeling sorry for her because she didn't celebrate her birthday at the same time everyone else did. "It must be lonely having your birthday all by yourself" was the comment. Then I read that on Coming of Age day all the 20-year-olds celebrate that they can drink now and go out and get drunk.

So, my question is, does everyone in Japan really celebrate their birthday on a single day? And if you turn 20 in February, do you have to wait until the following January until you're allowed to drink?

Psy
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Joined: January 10th, 2007 8:33 am

Postby Psy » January 26th, 2008 12:53 am

From what I know, whether or not you attend a 成人式 (seijin-shiki, coming of age ceremony held in early Jan.) depends on the area in which you live and the timing between when you turn 20 and when the next school year starts. A Japanese woman I knew said she celebrated hers when she was still 19, so it just depends. On that day, people go out together and party until the wee hours. Even though drinking law says 20 is the minimum legal age, one is seldom checked-- in the one case where I was, a simple hai was enough when asked if I was old enough. Guess that's just the way things work in land of the Asahi Beer vending machine.

As for celebrating birthdays together, I don't know-- for the time I was there, there was only one birthday in the circle of people I dealt with, and a bunch of us chipped in on getting her a nice cake on the same day. Whether or not this is the norm I have never asked. I'm sure one of the long-term residents will be able to answer you in more detail.
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grimalkin
New in Town
Posts: 10
Joined: January 18th, 2008 2:17 pm

Thanks

Postby grimalkin » January 28th, 2008 2:11 pm

Appreciate the reply. If anyone does know the answer to the group versus individual birthday party question, I'd appreciate it!

JonB
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Joined: December 20th, 2006 2:35 am

From my experience

Postby JonB » January 30th, 2008 2:54 am

Japanese don't really seem to celebrate birthdays - my wife usually only gets something small for her parents and brother, if she remembers!

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