Proud to turn 20

Turning 20 years is celebrated in Japan every year on the second Monday of January with the Coming of Age Festival.
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I came to Meji Shrine in 2014 to watch the girls, who turned 20 the year before, and were dressed in wonderful kimonos. And I posted the blog “Pockets of Light”. I realized at that time that a lot of these girls where standing in front of the shrine, not minding people taking pictures of them. They were actually patiently posing.
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I decided to take this opportunity this year to shoot some portraits. And I experimented with my newly acquired but old Noctilux lens, which gives a wonderful bokeh at 1.0.
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On January 12th Meji Shrine of course saw still visitors coming to leave their New Year wishes by writing on so called EMA (wooden plates) or letters; the EMAS to be left hanging at special boards, the letters to be thrown in wooden boxes.
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The sentiments after the terrible islamic terror attack against Charlie Hebdo even reached Tokyo.
As 2015 is the year of the sheep, big EMAS were hanging at the entrance to the shrine, of course a good photo spot for families.
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Rarely I spotted adults who took the opportunity to dress up traditionally. They should do so more often.
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The portraits show us 20 year old girls, who turned into adults. Do they look more mature than women of their age in the western world ? Are they masters in deceiving the eye or are they really that innocent as they appear ? Well, I think there is a huge variety of expressions and I leave it up to the observer to judge.
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