Young Women in Kimono at Meiji Shrine during Seijin No Hi (Coming Of Age Day) 2011

A young woman celebrating Seijin No Hi


Today is Seijin No Hi (Coming Of Age Day), it is the day when young women who are turning 20 this year celebrate their coming of age by going to shrines for prayers.



I first knew about Seijin No Hi 2 years ago from Maiko the Producer. At that time, we were location scouting for my film, KINGYO, then I noticed some young women walking around in kimonos, and she explained to me what the whole deal was.

Last year, I decided to snap some photos of these young women in kimono at Meiji Shrine.

This year, I did the same.

I went with Kong (who, after shooting the scene of a girl in shower meeting a slasher, was preparing a new scene).

And here are some photos I took in the afternoon.

Groups of ladies in kimono

Lady in kimono

A group of ladies in kimono

Another lady in kimono

Girl in kimono surrounded by photographers

Girl in kimono holding a Hamaya


Many were surrounded by tourists + photographers (really hardcore ones, some were elderly men and women with badass SLRs with lenses expensive enough to fund a few films of mine) hoping to get a great photo of them.

There were foreigners too, and they were particularly popular with the photographers.

Foreigner in kimono

Foreigners in Kimono


Tried to go for another 'people bathed in soft sunlight' photo with a young couple that I pulled off so beautifully few days ago.



... it didn't work this time.

A young couple bathed in sunlight


Nonetheless, I kept it because the effect was cool...

There were Ganguro girls in kimono too.

Ganguro girls in kimono


I took some photos with the iPhone, going for a 'Lomo look'.

Kimono girls at Meiji shrine


Before switching back to the 7D again.

A pair of young women in kimono

A pair of young women in kimono 2


As for the girl in the black and white photo on top of this post, I had a lot of trouble trying to get the right exposure and such for her. And each of the photo I took ended up being overexposed.

Hence the black and white...

A young woman celebrating Seijin No Hi 2


Moments later, refusing to just give up like this, I approached her for one more photo (at that time, many others were of course, photographing her) under the tree. I guess she was slightly freaking out that this gaijin stalker photographer was constantly stalking her (despite his smoldering good looks, I humbly add).

The photo came out like... this.

Girl in kimono under a tree


"Well!" I said cheerfully to myself. "At least she'll be timeless!"

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