Most Americans are familiar with sweet sixteen, becoming a legal adult at 18, and turning 21, but in other countries, these milestones don’t exist. One such country is Japan where citizens enter adulthood at age 20. The second Monday of January is known in Japan as Coming of Age Day. Twenty-year-olds attend a ceremony at city hall in celebration of becoming adults and recognizing their new responsibilities that come with adulthood.
Ephraim hosted the first annual Coming of Age Day for the International Students from Japan at Ephraim City Hall on January 15, 2015. Moe Nakano, Mei Izumi, Sayaka Uenishi, Manami Hirahara, Milina Ishikura, Arisa Matsumoto, and Maho Hattori were honored as they ceremoniously entered adulthood.
Mayor Richard Squire spoke to the “adopted citizens of Ephraim,” urging them to always remember that they are global citizens and to use that knowledge as they- as adults- make changes and create a new world.
Student Service Vice President Craig Mathie encouraged the students to “ceremoniously take a step into adulthood and control of your future.” Vice President Steve Hood provided words from President Carlston as well as himself stating, “One of the greatest assets of Snow College is international students.” He also thanked the women declaring, “We learn from you and we learn from your traditions.”
Others in attendance honoring the newly adult students included Director of Center for Global Engagement, Alex Peterson, Professor of Japanese and advisor to the Japanese Club Jeff Lamb, and Ephraim City Council Representative Margie Anderson.
The seven women being honored all received certificates and gifts from Margie Anderson who remarked, “I wish we would encourage our own young adults like this,” referring to the encouragement provided to the women on their new future. The young women were extremely gracious. Milina, upon receiving her gifts, said, “Thank you for your blessing,” to Margie. All the women thanked those who attended and celebrated their new beginnings together.