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Can a man marry more than one wife in Japan?

1. Introduction

In Japan, polygamy is illegal and not recognized by the government. However, this does not mean that it does not exist in the country. There are some communities where polygamy is practiced and accepted as a part of their culture and tradition. This article will explore the history, legal status, social perception, religious views, and prevalence of polygamy in Japan.

2. Historical Context of Polygamy in Japan

Polygamy has been practiced in Japan since ancient times. In the early days of Japanese society, it was common for powerful men to have multiple wives and concubines. This practice was even encouraged by some emperors during certain periods of Japanese history. During the Edo period (1603-1868), polygamy was officially banned but still widely practiced by samurai warriors and wealthy merchants.

Japanese Snack Box

3. Current Legal Status of Polygamy in Japan

Today, polygamy is illegal in Japan and is not recognized by the government or any other official body. According to Article 733 of the Civil Code of Japan, “A marriage shall be based upon the mutual consent of both sexes” which means that a man cannot legally marry more than one woman at a time. Furthermore, any person who attempts to enter into a polygamous marriage could face criminal charges according to Article 734 of the Civil Code which states that “Any person who contracts a polygamous marriage shall be punished with imprisonment with work for not more than six months”

4. Social Perception of Polygamy in Japan

In general, polygamy is frowned upon by most people in Japanese society today as it goes against traditional values and beliefs about marriage and family life. It is seen as an outdated practice that has no place in modern society and can lead to problems such as jealousy between wives or mistreatment of children born out of wedlock due to lack of legal recognition from either parent’s side.

5. Religious Views on Polygamy in Japan

The majority of religions practiced in Japan today do not condone or accept polygamy as a legitimate form of marriage or relationship structure including Buddhism, Shintoism and Christianity (Catholicism). Some smaller sects may accept it but this is rare and generally discouraged by mainstream religions within the country.

6 How Common is Polygamy in Japan?

Polygamy is relatively rare in modern day Japan due to its illegality and general disapproval from society at large. However, there are some small communities where it is still practiced such as remote rural areas or certain religious sects where it may be accepted as part of their culture or tradition without facing much opposition from outsiders or law enforcement agencies.

7 Pros & Cons Of Polygamy In Japan


• Allows for multiple partners within one relationship which can lead to greater fulfillment for all involved.

• Can provide financial stability for families with multiple incomes coming from different spouses.

• Can provide emotional support from multiple partners.


• Can lead to feelings of resentment between spouses if there are unequal amounts of attention given.

• Can lead to feelings jealousy between spouses if one partner has more attention than another.

• Can create legal complications if children are born out wedlock due to lack of recognition from either parent’s side.

• May cause social stigma due to disapproval from mainstream religions within the country.

8 Conclusion

In conclusion, while polygamy may have been accepted during certain periods throughout Japanese history, it is now illegal within the country today and generally frowned upon by society at large due its potential for creating conflict among spouses or causing legal complications when children are born out wedlock due lack recognition from either parent’s side.. Despite this however there are still some small communities where it may be practiced without much opposition from outsiders or law enforcement agencies so long as all involved parties consent freely without any coercion or manipulation taking place..

9 Sources & References
Civil Code Of Japan (1947) https://www1stlawsocietyorg/civil-code-of-japan/ The History Of Marriage InJapan (2015) http://wwwjpmarriagetraditionscom/history-marriage-japan/ The Pros And Cons Of Polygamy (2020) https://wwwgoodtherapyorg/blog/pros-cons-polygamy/

Is it legal to marry 2 wives in Japan?

Because polygamy is illegal in Japan the three lived together without getting married. Together they call themselves the Iyasaka family.

Did Japanese men have multiple wives?

It was legal until 1945 when Japan lost World War II and a new polygamy law was enacted. Many women gave birth to their children by the same father and their relatives were considered a family.

What country can a man have 2 wives?

Many countries that allow polygamy are Muslim-majority and Afghanistan Pakistan has a rare 20 married men who practice Muslim life – at least legally for I Muslims.

How many children can a Japanese couple have?

Japan has no child policy that limits the number of children a couple can have. Although most Japanese have one or two children. There is no limit to the number of children in a family under Japanese law.

Does China allow multiple wives?

There is no monogamy in China. Legally marrying another person is called bigamy in China which is illegal and a crime. Chinese Criminal Code: Articles

Is it legal to marry your sister in Japan?

Male partners must be at least 18 years of age and female partners must be at least 18 years of age. In Japan people under the age of 18 cannot marry without parental consent. Most people who are related by blood adoption or second marriage cannot marry in Japan.

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