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What is Japan’s marriage culture?

1. Introduction

Marriage is a significant event in any culture and Japan is no exception. It is an important part of life for many Japanese people, and has been for centuries. In this article, we will explore what marriage culture looks like in Japan today, from traditional ceremonies to modern changes. We will also discuss gender roles and expectations in Japanese marriages, as well as divorce rates in the country.

2. History of Marriage in Japan

Marriage has long been an important part of Japanese culture, with evidence of marriage ceremonies dating back to the 7th century AD. Historically, marriages were arranged by parents or matchmakers and were often used to create political or economic alliances between families. The groom’s family would typically give a dowry to the bride’s family as part of the arrangement.

Japanese Snack Box

In the early 20th century, marriage laws changed significantly in Japan, allowing couples more freedom to choose their own partners without parental interference. This led to a rise in love marriages (ren’ai kekkon) over arranged marriages (omiai kekkon).

3. Traditional Japanese Wedding Ceremonies

Traditional Japanese wedding ceremonies are steeped in ritual and tradition. They usually begin with a Shinto-style ceremony at a shrine or temple followed by a traditional reception at a hotel or banquet hall. The bride typically wears a white kimono while the groom wears black kimono and montsuki haori hakama (a formal men’s coat). During the ceremony, there are several rituals such as sake drinking and exchanging of rings that symbolize the couple’s commitment to each other.

4. Types of Marriages in Japan

There are two main types of marriages recognized by law in Japan: monogamous marriage (futsugou kekkon) and polygamous marriage (goukei kekkon). Monogamous marriage is legal only if both parties are 18 years old or older and have not been previously married; polygamous marriage is not legally recognized but still practiced among certain communities within Japan such as those from Okinawa prefecture or among members of some religious sects like Tenrikyo or Shin Buddhism sects.

5. Gender Roles and Expectations in Japanese Marriage

In traditional Japanese society, gender roles were clearly defined with women taking on domestic duties such as childcare while men took on more public roles such as working outside of the home or providing financial support for their families. This has changed somewhat over time but even today there are still expectations that women will take on more domestic duties than men while men will take on more public roles outside of the home such as working full-time jobs or providing financial support for their families.

6. Changes to the Traditional Japanese Marriage System

The traditional system of arranged marriages has gradually been replaced by love marriages since World War II but even today it still plays an important role among certain communities within Japan such as those from Okinawa prefecture where it remains common practice for parents to arrange marriages for their children even if they are adults themselves.Additionally, there has been an increase in intercultural/interracial marriages due to globalization which has further diversified Japanese marriage culture over time.

7.Divorce Rates In Japan
Divorce rates have risen steadily since World War II with approximately one third of all marriages ending in divorce according to recent statistics.This is due largely to increased acceptance of divorce within society but also because couples now have more freedom when it comes to choosing their own partners without parental interference.Additionally,divorce laws have become less restrictive over time making it easier for couples who wish to separate legally.


Japan’s marriage culture has evolved significantly over time,particularly since World War II when arranged marriages began being replaced by love marriages.Today,gender roles remain largely divided with women taking on domestic duties while men take on more public roles outside of the home.Additionally,intercultural/interracial relationships have become increasingly accepted leading to further diversification within Japanese marriage culture.Lastly,divorce rates have risen steadily due largely increased acceptance within society but also because couples now have more freedom when it comes to choosing their own partners without parental interference.


– “Arranged Marriages: A Historical Perspective”,National Institute Of Population And Social Security Research
– “Gender Roles & Expectations In Modern Marriage”,Psychology Today
– “Intercultural Relationships & Marriages In Contemporary Japan”,The Asia-Pacific Journal
– “Divorce Rate In Japan”,Statista

What happens when you marry a Japanese?

After the wedding the couple must obtain a visa to visit Japan. If the purpose of your trip is to live in Japan as the spouse of a Japanese citizen you will need a certificate of eligibility to apply for a visa.

Do Japanese kiss at weddings?

In a typical Western wedding the climax of the ceremony is when the bride and groom exchange vows and share a kiss. This does not happen in Japan where kissing is considered a very intimate act. In fact displays of affection are generally frowned upon in Japanese culture.

Why do Japanese don’t marry?

One in four Japanese 30-year-olds say they have no intention of getting married. Analysts say this is due to growing financial pressures and a desire to live without social responsibility.

Do Japanese men avoid marriage?

Young Japanese of both sexes prefer to live a solitary life but men are the most accepting. The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research recently reported that 24 percent of Japanese men are single at age 50 compared to 14 percent of women.

Do Japanese couples show affection?

Showing Love in Japan Asian couples dont usually express their love for each other. Public displays of affection between members of the opposite sex such as kissing hugging and holding hands are considered rude. Even family members rarely hug or show physical affection in public.

Is hugging romantic in Japan?

Do not greet Japanese people with kisses or hugs (unless you know them well). Although Westerners often kiss the cheek as a greeting the Japanese are more comfortable bowing or shaking hands. Showing affection in public is also not good manners.

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