Where Did the 20 Years Go?

Colin Sewake
Hawai‘i Herald Columnist

“Okinawa is such a beautiful place, not just the ocean and scenery and culture, but the people. I’ve been treated well and taken care of by many people here in what has become ‘My Hawai‘i.’” — Colin Sewake

From zero to 20! That was pretty fast.

No, I’m not referring to the acceleration speed of my van, but rather to our daughter, Mizuki, who turned 20 years old last year, officially becoming an adult in Japan.

Mizuki spent her fuyuyasumi (winter break) back home in Okinawa and then returned to Yamaguchi Daigaku (Yamaguchi University) on Jan. 5. A week later, she flew back to Okinawa for her Seijinshiki — “Coming of Age Day” — ceremony on Jan. 13 at Yomitan Chuugakko (junior high school). The event is usually held at the Yomitan Bunka (cultural) Center, but the facility was being renovated, so the venue was changed this year.

Although the girls can wear a black suit and skirt combination to the ceremony, most of them prefer to wear a colorful kimono, oftentimes a treasured kimono that belongs to their okaasan (mother) or even their obaachan (grandmother). Others go to companies that offer kimono rentals and dressing services. Due to the high demand for kimono rentals, Keiko made a reservation for Mizuki in the summer of 2017 — more than a year before Mizuki turned 20!

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