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Coming of Age
January 13, 2013 8:31 PM   Subscribe

Today is Coming of Age Day in Japan, when everyone who has turned twenty in the past year simultaneously gains the right to smoke, drink, and vote. Wherever you are, why not celebrate with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's (previously) latest video, furisodeshon?
posted by 23 (47 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
They tried this in America once--that's where we got the term "giga-deaths" from.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:37 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


This morning on the news, there was a segment on trendy things for the new adults to do, and it was essentially "Hey, you just turned twenty! Why don't you try this Hello Kitty cafe! Or buy these things based on characters from cartoons aimed at children in order to celebrate your adulthood!"


Slight correction: turning twenty in Japan means you're legally able to smoke/drink/vote. You don't have to wait for the second Monday in January. Hell, due to a lack of any I.D. system, no one gets carded anyway for booze anyway.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:43 PM on January 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


...that actually makes quite a difference, Ghidorah! I was envisioning like millions of people all simultaneously having the equivalent of the stereotypical American 21st-birthday party. I was envisioning a national shitshow of truly epic proportions.
posted by Scientist at 9:08 PM on January 13, 2013 [22 favorites]


...that actually makes quite a difference, Ghidorah! I was envisioning like millions of people all simultaneously having the equivalent of the stereotypical American 21st-birthday party. I was envisioning a national shitshow of truly epic proportions.

Ditto! Thanks for the clarification.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:14 PM on January 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Drinking culture in Japan isn't the same as the U.S. For example, you can buy beer from vending machines in the street there.
posted by axiom at 9:16 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


axiom: I've seen a booze vending machine in the street only maybe once or twice; they are usually in places like hotels where you would not expect children to be unaccompanied, and are by no means common. Cigarette machines are in the street, though they sometimes have some kind of prevention system (like requiring a card you register for to use them).

At convenience stores these days you have to push a button saying you're twenty before you buy alcohol or tobacco, but I've never seen or heard of someone getting carded.
posted by 23 at 9:23 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


What's all this talk of booze? I'm just here for the kyary pamyu pamyu.
posted by yeolcoatl at 9:29 PM on January 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Most beer vending machines have gone away in the last ten years, and now it's kind of a shock to see one. Cigarette machines by law have an IC chip reader, to get the card (called Taspo), you have to apply with proof of age.

While convenience stores do make you press a touch screen button to confirm that you're over twenty, it's just about the barest minimum you can imagine to meet regulation. More than once, my friends and I have been out at izakayas and ended up sitting next to a table of sixteen or seventeen year olds. They're easy to spot, they're loud for a little bit, but after a couple drinks, half the group falls asleep.

Anyway, the thing I've always liked about today is that, for one day of the year, you see people in kimono everywhere. Usually guys wear suits, but girls tend to go all out for coming of age day. Depending on where you live, your city might do something special. Vim pretty sure the city of Urayasu has an arrangement with Tokyo Disneyland for free entrance for twenty year olds on coming of age day. Kind of cool, or it would be, if Tokyo wasn't having the heaviest snowfall in probably five years today.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:39 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's also blizzarding outside. I hope our newly-minted adults have some warm coats to go with their furisode.
posted by jet_manifesto at 9:48 PM on January 13, 2013


Why don't you try this Hello Kitty cafe! Or buy these things based on characters from cartoons aimed at children in order to celebrate your adulthood!"

I was thinking the same thing after seeing all the young women in kimonos with Mickey Mouse at Tokyo Disneyland on the news. I recall seeing Disneyland pretty much every year on the news coverage of Coming Of Age Day here, so I guess that's the standard way to celebrate adulthood.?!.
posted by p3t3 at 10:03 PM on January 13, 2013


It's also blizzarding outside.

Indeed! Biggest snow here in Tokyo in about 17 years, I do believe. Just got back in from making a snowman with my daughter! (Who is not turning 20 today: she's got another 8 years til the big day)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:15 PM on January 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is pretty awesome.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:50 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why must such terrible music be celebrated in this country?
posted by planetkyoto at 11:20 PM on January 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


KokuRyu, I didn't understand the video but I think the seal turned 20?
posted by Jon_Evil at 11:35 PM on January 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


That smile is not one to which I would turn my back.
posted by the_artificer at 11:37 PM on January 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ah, sorry, the seal has been trained to smile to wish participants a good coming of age day. But, as my wife remarked, he isn't smiling with his eyes.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:52 PM on January 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Or buy these things based on characters from cartoons aimed at children in order to celebrate your adulthood!"
posted by Ghidora


Borderline eponysterical.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:56 PM on January 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


The 'I certify that I am 20' button on the checkout screen at the convenience stores is funny. I've had the experience any number of times of having a clerk (who assumes that I don't know the system, and who couldn't be bothered explaining it to me) reach over and tap it herself, instead of asking me to do it.

Borderline eponysterical

As is the main post ...
posted by woodblock100 at 12:02 AM on January 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


My two favourite places in Japan are bookstores and liquor stores. I always check out the booze selection whenever I go to the supermarket.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:14 AM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


CRAZY snow today... and I saw several girls trying to walk with their kimonos and geta in the snow. Kind of glad I'm not the one with wet feet.
posted by monocot at 12:54 AM on January 14, 2013


Did anyone else get some weird Pyramid Head vibe from her co-dancers prior to the hats coming off? Just me? I kept waiting for them to start hacking away at her.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 2:00 AM on January 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I actually felt a little shocked when she started getting drunk, since the little-girl vibe is so overt. Go go little drunk girl, stab that... whatever it is... in the ass with that giant fork!
posted by tomboko at 4:07 AM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


monocot, I saw a few pictures of girls walking in the snow in their kimono and geta. It looked like woodblock prints or something. Beautiful.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 4:29 AM on January 14, 2013


I find it quite interesting that real pop stars are being vocoded in such a way that the sound is coming closer and closer to synthetic pop stars like Hatsune Miku.
posted by Drexen at 4:39 AM on January 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Overusing autotune for effect seems to have peaked a while ago.

I don't see it going away, because an expensive rackmount effect is still a cheap way to make pretty but untalented singers nominally listenable. But be thankful that producers seem increasingly inclined to to try to make it sound a little more natural than was previously fashionable, or at least try to induce the robot voices a little more judiciously.
posted by ardgedee at 4:57 AM on January 14, 2013


So wait, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is basically like a Japanese version of Lady Gaga, except the target audience is pedophiles instead of gay men, right?
posted by bokane at 5:25 AM on January 14, 2013


I've had the experience any number of times of having a clerk (who assumes that I don't know the system, and who couldn't be bothered explaining it to me) reach over and tap it herself, instead of asking me to do it.

Yup, same here. Happens to me about a third of the time, I'd say. I figure that rather than not wanting to explain the system, it's more likely (or at least just as likely) that they just don't want the hassle of explaining it to someone who maybe can't speak or understand Japanese, and I can't say I blame 'em. Especially when there's people in line behind. You gotta move fast working in a conbini.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:43 AM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


they just don't want the hassle of explaining it to someone who maybe can't speak or understand Japanese ...

Yes, I'm sure that's basically the reason ... But it's usually fun (what with my long white beard and all) to then ask them (in Japanese), "What makes you think that I'm over 20?"
posted by woodblock100 at 6:00 AM on January 14, 2013 [10 favorites]


I've seen a booze vending machine in the street only maybe once or twice; they are usually in places like hotels where you would not expect children to be unaccompanied, and are by no means common.

There's one around the corner from my apartment building, but then the building across the street from that is a giant pachinko parlor so maybe it's just special. Also, all it has in it is One Cup, which is nasty

At convenience stores these days you have to push a button saying you're twenty before you buy alcohol or tobacco, but I've never seen or heard of someone getting carded.

.....I get carded. I get carded at the combini in my neighborhood every time there's somebody new working the register. And then they get all embarrassed and apologize and I'm all DAIJOUBU YO DO IT AGAIN NEXT TIME TOO.
posted by emmling at 6:16 AM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've seen a booze vending machine in the street only maybe once or twice; they are usually in places like hotels where you would not expect children to be unaccompanied, and are by no means common.

There was one right on the main shopping street in Oyamadai when I was last living there.

woo anecdata
posted by koucha at 6:22 AM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Where I see beer vending machines pretty much exclusively these days is directly in front of liquor stores, and I'd say there are still a fair number of them in those sorts of locations. I can think of a couple right here in my neighborhood (Negishi, near Uguisudani and Nippori stations on the Yamanote line).
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:30 AM on January 14, 2013


monocot, I saw a few pictures of girls walking in the snow in their kimono and geta. It looked like woodblock prints or something. Beautiful.

Can you dig those up? That sounds great.
posted by byanyothername at 11:09 AM on January 14, 2013


I think in regional Japan, where there is less urban density, fewer pedestrians, and fewer trains, the number of beer vending machines have declined because of competition from small neighbourhood supermarkets and total, absolute saturation of convenience stores (land is cheap, and franchisees are willing to pay money to set up), most of which sell beer. Typically, there's a 20% premium for buying beer at a machine compared to a supermarket.

This fall, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that you can buy a flat of beer (24 cans) for a significant discount if you purchase online, and shipping is free :)
posted by KokuRyu at 12:37 PM on January 14, 2013


woodblock100: "Yes, I'm sure that's basically the reason ... But it's usually fun (what with my long white beard and all) to then ask them (in Japanese), "What makes you think that I'm over 20?""

I'm not so sure that's the reason. At my convenience store, they make me push the button, but I've seen them push the button for Japanese folks who look in their 50s and older. I guess there's just a point at which they think "not only is this person over 20, they're over double-twenty, so I'll just push the button myself".
posted by Bugbread at 5:46 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Watch it now, Bugbread. Now you're insinuating that I appear OLD. And flapjax does not like that.

FLAPJAX DOES NOT LIKE THAT.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:44 PM on January 14, 2013


Hey Flapjax ... relax! They have a special day for us too you know - 敬老の日 - on the third Monday of every September ...
posted by woodblock100 at 7:57 PM on January 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


For my part, they usually push the button themselves, simply because I'm still not used to the system, and I don't usually pay that much attention at the convenience store. If I'm actually at a convenience store, it's either because I'm in a hurry, or I'm getting street beers with friends (I know, classy), so the new-ish wrinkle usually catches me off guard. Before I can even express my befudlement (you want me to do what?), they've already reached in front of the register and pushed the button. I imagine it's more of a frustration for the cashier than anything else, but like I said, it's probably giving them the ability to say 'we followed the regulations! She said she was 18! She even bought some Chewlies Gum!'
posted by Ghidorah at 9:13 PM on January 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hear you, woodblock.

You too, Ghidorah. Us foreigners (or, "long noses", as we're more commonly known) have got to get quicker with expressing our befuddlement.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:49 PM on January 14, 2013


... pictures of girls walking in the snow in their kimono and geta. It looked like woodblock prints or something. Beautiful.

Can you dig those up? That sounds great.


This video clip from Kamakura of the youngsters making their way to the local ceremony in their finery should fill the bill.
posted by woodblock100 at 10:01 PM on January 14, 2013


"Long nose?" Please. In Chiba, we're referred to as cheese-eaters.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:19 PM on January 14, 2013


Well... Chiba. I mean... hey... Chiba.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:46 PM on January 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know, this thread has me thinking... isn't it about time for a Tokyo meetup?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:55 PM on January 14, 2013


We can start with street beers from the conbini and video the clerk punching the buttons for us long nose cheese eaters.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:56 PM on January 14, 2013


I was trying for some meetup action during the break in one of the MeTa threads. Slightly warmer weather never hurts, but I could conceivably be up for something on a Saturday, izakayaish.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:02 AM on January 15, 2013


Tokyo meetup ...

I'd try for it this time ... The previous attempts back a few months ago were just out of the question (year-end chaos ...), but I've got a bunch of errands in Tokyo that need seeing to, perhaps ending in a MeFi get-together ...
posted by woodblock100 at 12:03 AM on January 15, 2013


If we wait until Setsubun, we could all throw edamame at Flapjax while we drink!
posted by Ghidorah at 12:09 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd be good for a meetup, though if you're going to be in town this weekend you probably want to go to the Furusato Matsuri.
posted by 23 at 1:56 AM on January 15, 2013


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