Hello everyone! How are you doing?
I think this topic is interesting for most women. This topic is weddings.
I’ll talk about preparation before the wedding and Japanese wedding ceremonies in the past and today.
First, I’d like to talk about preparing before wedding. The groom and bride have to tell their families whom they want to marry, because they need their parents’ approval to get married. In Japanese marriages, it is thought that the groom family joins the bridal family, so it is very important for their families. In the past, a groom had to pay for all costs to live with his wife; for example, the house, furniture and wedding ceremony. If a bride received money from him, she had to buy stuff in order to live with him. Recently the couple cover all costs and stuff together.
Next, I’ll talk about the wedding ceremony. The Japanese wedding ceremony has changed at present but is very old. In olden times the wedding ceremony was held in the husband’s home. Ceremonies in shrines became common in the Meiji period(1868-1912). In a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony, the bride wears a special white dress called Shiromuku(白無垢) and the groom also wears special long pleated culotte-like Japanese trousers called Montsuki-hakama (紋付袴), like the picture below.
I’ll talk about how the wedding ceremony was held in the past. Old Japanese did weddings according to Shinto rites. First, everyone entered the hall and lined up according to their relationship with groom and bride, while special wedding music was played. Then a shaman and a master of religious ceremonies led them in the hall. After that, the master of ceremonies purified them and told God of their marriage and prayed for God to be happy for them forever. The groom and bride drank sake(酒) in three cups of different size, like in the picture below, three times. But they couldn’t drink it the first or second time, instead just touching the mouth to the cup. This ceremony is called Sansankudo(三々九度).
The couple then goes in front of God and reads an oath, to swear that they marry. They give God Tamagushi(玉串) like the below picture. They dedicate it to God, meaning they dedicate their heart to God on it.
After that their families drink sake offered to God. The master helps them finish the ceremony safely. Then everyone leaves the hall the same way they entered the hall, in turn.
That’s very interesting for me, because a contemporary wedding ceremony is so different. Everyone goes to a church to hold a wedding ceremony, and most brides wear a wedding dress; most grooms wear tuxedos. They swear to god to marry in the church, they interchange engagement rings, and then they go to the wedding party with close friends, families, relatives, fellow worker and bosses. During the party, most brides read a letter out loud to thank her parents for raising her. It’s so moving that the attendees cry hearing that. Although a few Japanese still hold traditional wedding ceremonies, they are less common year after year. I’d like to join in a traditional wedding ceremony, because I never have experienced that. If I married someone, I would hold a traditional wedding.