Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Japanese Wedding Traditions


This week I want to take you with me to Japan. A fascinating country. So foreign but still close to my heart. I have visited it just once, but it is at the very top on my travel list. I love its food, its culture (or at least the bit I understand), its people, its script, its shopping craze, its bathing traditions, its fabrics,... So come with me to the “Land of the Rising Sun”.

To Japanese wedding traditions to be exact, because today is also Wednesday and that means all things wedding today.
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Japan weddings – like most weddings around the world nowadays – are heavily influenced by the Hollywood way of getting married. Hence there a many, many Western-style weddings with the chapels, dresses and traditions we know. I prefer, however, Japanese-style weddings.

Not for me, of course, because I am not Japanese and therefore I would look ridiculous – more like being at a dress-up party than at a solemn ceremony.

Unfortunately I have never had the luck to be invited to a Japanese wedding. Or maybe this is a good thing, because I am surely would have made a foul of myself and embarrass my hosts anyway. There are just too many traditions and rules of etiquette I don’t know about.

What I just adore is:

• the wonderful Japanese wedding kimonos (just renting one costs around $5,000)

• the amazing ‘wata boushi’ wedding hat (it must be incredible heavy but it looks stunning)

• the huge red parasol that is carried behind bride and groom

• that the families are much more involved in the ceremony (they face each other during the exchange of vows and then drink sake to symbolize the bonding of the couple as well as of the two families)

• that receptions usually include karaoke (is there a better way to break the ice and start the party?)

If you want to read more on Japanese weddings, have a look here:

• Sawn-off marriages at An Englishman in Osaka

• Modern Wedding at Blue Lotus

• Tokyo Bay Wedding Village at Japan.ABlog.Bya Penguin

• Wedding gifts by My So-Called Japanese Life

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