Seijin vs Otona : The Difference in Meaning

As you might already know, today January 13th is a national holiday in Japan called “Seijin no Hi (成人の日 : Coming of Age Day)”, and in fact 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)”.

The Difference in Meaning between Seijin and Otona


Actually, both “Seijin (成人)” and “Otona (大人)” are the Japanese words for adults, but these words are slightly different in meaning.

Seijin (成人)

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

Otona (大人)

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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