It is an honored tradition to celebrate the transition from childhood to adulthood, but it’s been seventeen years since Johnny & Associates last took part in such a ceremony as a company. Thanks to the efforts of the company’s new president Yoshihiko Inohara, the tradition is back on the books!
Last year, Japan revised the legal age of adulthood from 20 to 18, which means there are three years worth of young men who took part in the official celebrations.
In Shinto (the ancient folk religion of Japan), this is the final of four different ceremonies that mark the transition from childhood, participated in by those who have reached the age of adulthood between April 2nd of the previous year and April 1st of the current. Participants typically enjoy trips to local shrines with their friends and family, usually in a suit or traditional “hakama” for boys and beautifully ornate kimonos for girls.
However, Japan’s Emperor, who heads Shinto, has yet to rule officially on whether or not the legal revision of the age of adulthood will apply to the spiritual rites that these ceremonies are a part of, leaving many newly minted 18 and 19 year olds to wonder if this year’s celebrations were for them. The current Emperor ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne on 1 May 2019, following the abdication of his father, citing poor health. As is tradition, the transition was marked by a new regnal era, called Reiwa, and he is the 126th monarch according to Japan’s traditional order of succession.
Among the eleven men celebrated from Johnny’s were Shunsuke Michieda and Kento Nagao from Naniwa Danshi (both turned 20 in 2022), as well as Johnnys’ Juniors from HiHi Jets, Bishonen, 7 MEN Samurai, Shonen Ninja, and AmBitious. Due to the confusion over which age was the “correct” ceremonial age, the public event was limited to those who are or who are soon to become 20, though company president Inohara did personally reach out to and congratulate all the boys qualified as adults under the 18 or 19 year definition.
If you’ve followed my blog, you know how much I adore these colorful cuties! More Johnny & Associates news soon so…