Wedding Traditions in Japan

Wedding Traditions in Japan

The wedding traditions of Japan, the land of the rising sun, are incomprehensible and unaccustomed for Europeans. Until the twelfth century, traditional marriages of this culture were polygamous. The men had several wives, and they came to their houses in turn. After the appearance of the samurai, marriages became monogamous. However, the engagement was not for love, but for political or material reasons.

Traditions of ancient Japan

The search for a suitable bride or groom was done by nakodo – mediators between matchmakers. Much attention was paid to rituals, customs and compatibility of future newlyweds on a horoscope. If both families agreed to a future marriage, the young man and the girl would be presented to each other on a homemade dinner. The boy according to the customs presented the girl with seven wedding gifts: a fan, dried cuttlefish, a barrel for wine, a tangle of thread, algae, stems of hemp, squid. The groom’s parents presented the bride with seven envelopes with money. This amount should cover all expenses for the wedding.

The bride’s parents return the groom half of the cost of his gifts. To conclude a marriage, young men must reach 18 years old, girls – 16. After the traditional engagement, the bride and groom exchange lists of all their relatives. The lists indicate the names, age and degree of relationship. All these people should receive invitations to Japanese matrimony.

Modern Japanese weddings

Weddings in Japan are now still concluded by the consent of the parents. The true feelings of a boy and a girl are not taken into account. Parents choose a couple for their children by their material situation and social status. The groom practically does not care for the bride. The marriage proposal is done with the help of a ring. The bride also gives the groom a ring, but cheaper. Responsibility for an unhappy Japanese married life is borne by nakodo – matchmakers.

At the shinto wedding ceremony itself, only parents, close friends, matchmakers and bridesmaids are present. The boy and the girl ask for the wedding blessings from their parents and gods. The bride and groom drink san san kudo sake set. These are three cups with sake, from which the newlyweds make three sips. Nine gulps of wedding san san kudo sake is a symbol of marriage and happiness, an oath of loyalty and devotion. At the ceremony, the newlyweds do not kiss, as is common with Europeans.

The organization of the celebration is carried out by agencies that provide wedding favors. There are very many guests at the reception. All relatives, friends and acquaintances are gathered – more than 200 people. The Japanese prefer Italian and French cuisine. In the wedding menu a lot of seafood, fish and meat dishes, fresh vegetables and fruits, sake. Almost without confectionery and sweets. At the end of the feast, the bride and groom cut a large wedding cake. Small cakes guests receives as wedding souvenirs. At the celebration music sounds, but no one dances. Japanese at the party entertain themselves with karaoke and puzzles.

Wedding attires and gifts

During the wedding, the groom and the bride change outfits. The girl should show guests seven wedding dresses, and the groom three wedding kimonos and wedding hats. The sacred ceremony takes place in a special room or hall, where the groom wears a black kimono with family coats of arms, and the bride a white wedding robe. Under the headdress, the bride hides the decoration in the form of horns. It is a symbol of a lack of jealousy in family life. The bride takes off jewelry only on the wedding night. To absorb the wedding food, the girl puts on a colored kimono, and the groom wears a white outfit. Bridesmaids do not think about what to wear to a Japanese wedding. They should be dressed in the same style and wedding colors – white or red. Bridesmaids wear all the necessary wedding supplies and wedding baskets with coins and rice. They sprinkle the newlyweds.

Then the bride puts on several red wedding gowns or a kimonos, and the groom puts on classic black wedding suit. Bride make a bright bridal makeup. The wedding hair looks neat and exquisite, the hair is necessarily gathered on the back of the head. The hall, the wedding headpiece and the bride’s hair are decorated with flowers. A wedding bouquet consists of white orchids or red roses. Although at modern celebrations wedding flowers, wedding clothes and accessories can be any.

On Japanese marriages on wedding etiquette it is customary to give only money. When the parents of the bride and groom send guests invitations, they open a special card in the bank. Guests before the ceremony send to the card 200-300 dollars. You can also donate money in an envelope or put them in a special wedding box while making wedding toasts and wishes.

A typical wedding in the eastern country is the conclusion of a friendship marriage, and not the creation of a family for love. The Japanese relations customs are very different from American or European. The bride is not a friend or companion of a man’s life, it’s the mistress, the mother and the assistant to his parents. The husband is the breadwinner of the family, and he takes all decisions in the house.