January 10(Monday)

To all those reaching the age of majority

 

Today is Coming of Age Day.  I recall that on the birthday on which I turned 20 (in October 1966) I started upon a solo trip to the Tohoku region, considering my life from then on.  (I was not a pilgrim at the time.)

 

Of course, the Tohoku Shinkansen and the like did not exist then.  This was at the time when mere two years had passed since the Tokaido Shinkansen, called the "Dream Superexpress," first made its run between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka.

 

At the time, I was a student at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.  Japan was right in the midst of its period of rapid growth.  Also at this same time, young people were very active alongside major social contradictions including pollution, as epitomized by Minamata Disease, and the Vietnam War.

 

As the era shifted, the style of youth activities also changed.  Yet regardless of the era, the fact never changes that the bearers of the future are the younger generation.  To all those who have newly entered into the age of majority, I would like you to go forward embracing a spirit to tackle whatever you encounter, looking towards the future and towards the outside world.

 



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