Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Coming of Age

Yesterday was Coming of Age Day in Japan. It is a public holiday and ceremonies are held up and down the country, from the smallest towns to more grand affairs at Tokyo Disneyland, when those who turned 20 in the past year mark their transition to adulthood. For each of the last few years the numbers of those 'coming of age' have reached a new record low and this year was no exception. However, this is the first year since statistics started to be gathered over 40 years ago that the number of 20 year olds has been less than 1% of the total population. Another sign of the ever-decreasing number of young people in a rapdily ageing population. It remains to be seen what impact the new generation of Japanese will have on a society where change does not tend to happen quickly. It will be fascinating to observe how things work out over the coming years and even better to be here to be part of it. And the changes in demographics present both challenges and opportunities for the church in Japan.

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