Seijin vs Otona: The Difference in Meaning

As you might already know, January 13th is a national holiday in Japan called “Seijin no Hi (成人の日: Coming of Age Day)”, and in fact today, the coming of age ceremony called “Seijin Shiki (成人式)” took place around the country.

In Japan, young people come of age at 20 and are regarded as adults or “Otona (大人)”.

Seijin vs Otona: Japanese Words for Adults


As you can guess by now, actually, both “Seijin (成人)” and “Otona (大人)” are Japanese words for adults, but these words are slightly different in meaning.

Then, how does the word Seijin differ from Otona in meaning? This time, let me explain that.

Seijin (成人)

First off, Seijin are people over the age of 20 who are regarded as adults by law.

Otona (大人)

Meanwhile, Otona are people whose way of thinking and attitude have matured. Hence, even children under the age of 20 can be regarded as Otona.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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