When Japanese truly come of age


With today being a public holiday for the annual Coming of Age Day, where everyone who had their 20th birthday in the last calendar year gets tarted up in their best togs and get together in their local town hall to listen to boring speechs. However, although they statatistically became adults in the previous year, goo Ranking took a look at when people felt they truly reached adulthood.


Over the 25th and 26th of November 2011 1,074 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 57.4% of the sample were female, 11.6% in their teens, 14.7% in their twenties, 26.9% in their thirties, 25.0% in their forties, 11.1% in their fifties, and 10.7% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.

Here’s some new adults with a random dude:

Me with Kimono girls

And here’s a local mayor trying to get hip with the kids:

For my part, I felt I became an adult when I moved out of university dorms and started flat sharing, which incidentally was just round about my 20th birthday. Note that this doesn’t feature in the list below – for some reason flat-sharing is not popular at all in Japan.

Ranking result

Q: When did you feel you had truly reached adulthood? (Sample size=1,074)

Rank Score
1When I started to receive a salary100
2When I understood what I had to thank my parents for90.2
3When I had a child78.6
4When I got married77.0
5When I started living on my own32.8
6When I got a post with responsibilities at work30.9
7When I started to show consideration to people29.5
8When I started an insurance policy24.9
9When I started to check how the economy was doing23.0
10When I bought a house19.8
11When I got interested in politics16.3
12When I started giving New Year gifts to nephews, nieces13.6
13When I started saving regularly12.7
14When I started skipping on sleep to pursue my desires11.7
15=When I switched to a sensible car6.5
15=When I threw away a collection I’d spent a long time building up6.5
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