Everything you Wanted to Know About Weddings in Japan

Lots of marriages in Japan are contractual. That is, two people connect their destinies for the sake of mutual benefits, not love. So a man takes a girlfriend as his wife so that the house has a good housewife in it, and the girl, in turn, gets married in order to have a secure and reliable partner in her life.

This couple has a little sympathy or a friendly disposition towards each other, not true love. Since, in fact, a normal couple rarely sees each other, in Japan, men are married to their jobs. This is due to the fact that a man spends most of his time at work, goes to work early in the morning, and returns late at night. A woman spends all her time doing household chores and raises children.

There are marriages for love in Japan, too, and every year, their number is growing. Contractual relationships in Japan are gradually becoming a relic of the past.

In Japan, more initiative for dating and relationships comes from women than from men. It so happened that for a long time, if a girl likes a man, she approaches him and asks to be his wife.

The process itself looks something like this: a girl approaches a man, sits down next to him, smiles at him, and admires the sunset or the blossoming sakura. And if a man responds by smiling at her and hugging her, then they have basically both agreed on marriage.

There are three common values that women have when choosing a husband: he must be tall, educated, and wealthy. To find a suitable husband takes time, as women in Japan are quite picky about their future husbands.

Girls tend to marry the first handsome gentleman they meet because after becoming older, girls find it difficult to find their partner that would be the best one they could find.

However, as we’ve said, the country is rapidly developing: men are now the first to take the initiative in their hands. So in Japan, there is a saying, “Sell the last pot but take a good wife.” But as men are very busy at work, there are special intermediaries who will help two people to eventually get married.

Japanese wedding ceremony

This is not only a ritual polished by centuries, a manifestation of ancient beliefs and traditions, insanely expensive kimono brides, grooms, parents, and guests, but it is also an act, during which, young people should fully realize their responsibility.

The process consists of several stages. Religious rite includes elements of Christian, Buddhist, and Shinto wedding traditions. Previously, these ceremonies were held in the groom’s house, but today, such events are more often held in modern wedding halls.

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Each step of the ceremony is strictly regulated. A husband is dressed in a free-cut hakama wedding suit. A woman must wear a white kimono made of heavy, dense material and a white silk scarf with a red tsunokakushi lining.

According to the customs, the husband and wife should change outfits several times during the reception. Each shift is accompanied by a special ritual, the details of which depend on the financial capabilities of the newlyweds and their close relatives. It was here that the “golden mean” between the past and the present was found. First, the bride is dressed in white, then in colored kimono. In the end, the bride appears in a wedding dress of European cut.

During the ceremony, the newlyweds take three sips from three cups of specially prepared sake and take an oath of loyalty. A priest blesses them, and soon, the ceremony comes to an end. Only close friend and relatives of the newlyweds take part in it. Nakodos (fathers of the husband and wife) must be present. Back in the day, when marriages with matchmaking were more common, the matchmaker introduced young people and helped with wedding preparations. Now, the role of Nakodo began to be rather symbolic. Then young people arrange a formal reception for friends, relatives, and colleagues.

This is an unusual wedding for the Japanese, when, like during traditional western ceremonies, speeches are given in honor of this happy event, and there are other attributes of a western-style wedding celebration. The husband and wife receive gifts that are presented in the form of checks.

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