Today is my birthday, and I’m now 20-years-old. In America, this birthday means virtually nothing (besides that everyone looks at you like an adult, but you still aren’t legally allowed to purchase alcohol), but in Japan, its a completely different story. In Japan, turning 20 means you’re an adult. You are no longer legally a child under your parent’s custody. In other words, you can vote, you can live alone, you can buy alcohol, you can smoke, you basically do everything thats attributed to adult behavior, all at the simple and round age of 20. Most important, however; is that your family and friends will view you as an adult. You are no longer a child to be taken care of — you can find your independence and you will begin to recieve respect as a full-fledged member of society. The celebration is a big deal, wearing Yukata and Kimono, with all the family there. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?
Lets compare… In America we can drive and go to the army at 16, we are sexually adults at 17, we can vote and smoke at 18, and we can drink at 21. Wow, thats pretty gradual, and in my opinion a little bit backwards. We can die defending our country but we cant have a drink before we do? We can smoke before we can drink, but both are pretty bad for your health in my opinion. And why can we drive at the tender age of 16? I couldn’t even see over the steering wheel at 16, I definately shouldn’t have been driving (its arguable that I should have even been in a car seat for 8 year olds). I say, Japan’s way of doing this is much better. Lets have it all be legal at the same time: 20. The only thing that comes early in Japan is driving at 18, which is OK with me. Its still a heck of a lot simpler than the American way.
So, yesterday my friends Jared and Andrew and my girlfriend Ai took me to a very cool restaurant out in Vernon Hills called “Karma”. It was sort of like Asian fusion cuisine. I recieved a great present from my girlfriend (4 popular Japanese CD’s by Yuzu, Ikimono Gakari, and Mr. Children) and Jared and Andrew Treated me for dinner. A guy couldn’t ask for better friends and a better girlfriend.
Thanks guys (^_^)