Seijin no Hi (成人の日; Coming-of-Age Day) is a national holiday in Japan, which falls on the second Monday in January each year (Jan 14 in 2008). The holiday is for young Japanese who reached the legal age of adulthood (20) to celebrate their new status.

A Coming-of-Age ceremony (成人式; Seijin shiki) is normally held in the morning at local city offices where politicians and academicians will give speeches reminding the new adults of their social responsibilities.

The young adults would often visit a shrine after the ceremony to make their wishes before started partying (with plenty of drinks I guess).

Ladies coming-of-age are often seen wearing furisode (a style of kimono) on the day, which makes it a special day for otaku photographers as well…

Kimono girls are photographers favourite on Seijin no Hi
Photographers’ paradise (Image courtesy of MyMapOfJapan)

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Kibasen (騎馬戦) is a traditional Japanese game played by Japanese school boys.

The basic of the game involved 4 players on each side, with 3 people (horse) carrying a rider on top. The teams would charge at each other, with the riders attempting to remove the hat (or headband) of the opposition rider and thus defeating the team.

Sometimes they would use 4 carriers instead of 3, especially for younger kids that probably need an extra person to carry the weight.
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CuJu (蹴鞠; literally means kick-ball) is an ancient Chinese sport similar to today’s football (soccer). The first recorded document about the game dated back 2300 years ago during the Warring States Period (256 BC-221 BC) in the Kingdom of Qi (齐国; now Shangdong Province).

CuJu
People playing CuJu in a recent cultural
exhibition in Xuzhou, China

The sport gone hiatus for a few decades during Qing Dynasty (221 BC–206 BC), and became popular during Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). The first emperor of Han was said to be a fan of CuJu, hence led to the development of the game.

The CuJu game during the Han Dynasty was similar to modern day’s football game. It was a physical (and skills) battle between 2 teams of 12 players (11 in modern days) to put the ball inside the goal post on the opponents end without using their hands.

The game took a massive change in Tang Dynasty (618–907). First, there was a huge breakthrough in the Ju (the ball)… the ball was made of animals’ bladder and was filled with air compared with stuffed-and-stitch hair and cloth in the old days.

The new ball was much lighter and bouncy, thus the rules of the game changed dramatically. Instead of having the goal post on the floor, the goal mouth was set hanging on air at the middle of the field. The players competed against each other to put the ball through the goal without the ball dropping on the floor… with no physical contact involved.

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Kimchi (김치; also known as Gimchi and Kimchee) is a traditional Korean fermented dish made of seasoned vegetables.

The most popular type of kimchi is made with napa cabbage; other varieties include kkakdugi which is a kimchi made with cubed radishes, oh-ee so-bae-gi which is a stuffed cucumber kimchi and kkaennip (깻잎) kimchi with layers of perilla leaves marinated in soy sauce and other spices.

Kimchi has been a Korean cuisine for over 2000 years; it is probably right to say that a Korean meal these days is incomplete without Kimchi. Kimchi is often eaten with rice and other dishes, but over the years Kimchi has developed into various forms of delicacies like Kimchi soup, Kimchi ramen, barbecue Kimchi and Kimchi spring role etc… creativity is the only limit to the reinvention of Kimchi recipe.

Picture of Korean food Kimchi
Kimchi (Image courtesy of Nagyman)

An extra bonus for eating Kimchi is its health value; it has been claimed as one of the world healthiest food for its richness in vitamins and healthy bacteria that aids digestion.

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