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Smiles all round: Young women pose for the camera after the traditional Coming of Age Day ceremony. In recent years the number of young people marking the celebrations have decreased. (Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)

Young Japanese mark their Coming of Age in a ceremony

January 16, 2014

Japanese 20-year-olds have marked the moment they became adults on the Coming of Age Day. When they reach the age of 20 men and women in Japan can drink alcohol, smoke and vote. The national holiday sees youths dress in elaborate traditional dress and attend a day of speeches at their local civic office before celebrating with their families and friends. The tradition was first established in 1948 but it has its roots as far back as the seventh century.