Iwate : Gathering of 20-year-olds held

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Young people participate in a “gathering for 20-year-olds” in Sumita, Iwate Prefecture, on Aug. 13.

SUMITA, Iwate — The town of Sumita in Iwate Prefecture has renamed its annual coming-of-age ceremony to reflect the recent change in the age of adulthood.

Sumita’s first “gathering for 20-year-olds” was held on Aug. 13, attended by 32 of the 46 residents who have or will turn 20 this fiscal year.

The age of adulthood was lowered this year from 20 to 18, which led to the change in the Sumita ceremony’s name. Based partly on survey results, however, the town decided to continue to hold an annual event for 20-year-olds, as 18-year-olds are busy with such activities as preparing to go to college or enter the workforce.

Sumita typically held its past coming-of-age ceremonies during the Bon Festival period, but the previous two years’ events were held at later times due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year represented the first time in three years that the ceremony was held in summer.

“I want to keep in mind that I’m one of the people who will carry the coming age,” said Misaki Hatakeyama from Sumita’s Setamai district. Hatakeyama, 20, is a second-year student at Hokkaido University of Education.