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Thread: Why do Japanese talk so much about marriage ?

  1. #1
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Arrow Why do Japanese talk so much about marriage ?

    After 3 years in Japan, I realise that I have never heard so many times the word marriage. It's everywhere in Japan. Impossible to watch TV one day without having a programme about marriage/wedding, celebrities asked about their opinions about marriage, etc. In fact, Yahoo Japan is the only one (I have checked a dozens other Yahoo from all around the world) to have a "kekkon" (結婚) category on its first page.

    I hear people getting married all the time, and it is always a big event here. I haven't heard of small weddings with close relatives only. Always the big wedding in luxury hotels with 50 to 200 guests and 2 or 3 separate receptions. People plan their wedding over a year before (in my case, if it weren't for my wife, that would have been like 2 month before, which is exceptionally long term for me) and many of the people I know even have their wedding in Hawaii (mostly), Australia, New York, etc. No, not the honeymoon, but the wedding reception with all the guests !

    Guest usually have to pay about 30,000yen (300US$) to attend a wedding, and I have heard many people complaning (esp. in October, November) because they had to attend 3 weddings that months and pay 90,000yen.

    So why are weddings so important in Japan, why do they invite so many people, hold them in such expensive places and prepare it so long in advance ? We can't even say it's because of tradition, as most younger people want to get married in a church/chapel with a fake priest, eventhough they aren't Christians, and women prefer at a rate of 10 to 1 to wear the Western-style white dress rather than kimono. Most traditional aspects of the wedding are also disappearing (like the exchange of gifts between families).

    Why do they discuss the meaning of marriage, of what is a good husband (usually it means having a high and stable income more than anything else) or a good wife (usually that means cooking well, taking good care of the house, and let the husband go to hostess bar and watch porn whenever they want, etc.) ?

    I could positively say that the vast majority of the Japanese are obsessed by marriage. And yet, the marriage rate is falling fast (for other reasons, such as discrimination at work for married women).

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    Ooh, i'm a green belt. Kamisama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    We can't even say it's because of tradition, as most younger people want to get married in a church/chapel with a fake priest
    uhmm... well tradition was before young people/future generations ruined it?? heh

    hmm...

    Status? Perhaps a possibility....
    Gives people a meaning to life?

    Maybe they are all insane. Maybe it's because they are conformists and have group ideas.

    Why do I talk about politics? Why do I talk about getting a good job?
    I think about love more than I talk about it. I'm just assuming they talk a lot about what they think is socialbly acceptable and current at the time. I call it Societal Brainwashing... Each Society is brainwashed by media and government along with the word of mouth from others..

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    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Societal brainwashing seems like a fair explanation.
    However it can become quite annoying when you are married to a Japanese, and marriage (ours or her friends) becomes her favourite discussion topic.

    It's interesting though to compare the societal brainwashing from country to country.
    Japan also has food and money, which certainly come before wedding. Some topics are almost universally popular : sex, money, happiness, power, fame... But in others it kind be quite peculiar. Examples of national obsessions would be, I'd say, in "buying a house" for British people, "culture" for French people, "sports" for American and Australian people, or "caravan travel" for Dutch people.

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    Anjin Brooker's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'd have to say most Americans don't spend much time discussing marriage (at least the men don't) other than to bad mouth it.
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    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    I think that marriage is quite a common topic amongst women of all countries between ages 20-30. My wife used to speak of marriage all the time...until she hit around 33. Then it just wasn't that important of a topic anymore...she reverted back to food! (just as you mentioned!) I really never notice Japanese men speaking of marriage at all, only the women.


    @brooker I think that American women speak of marriage quite a bit...just maybe not as much in the open...more just with friends. But it is quite prevalent, and I always see women buying bridal magazines and oohing and ahhing over dresses, etc...and the weddings can get quite out of hand in the States too!

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    I guess you could partially explain the expensive weddings with status. I mean, most people would probably be wed in a cathedral than in a cardboard house, right? And yeah, there's always that one thing people talk about

    And talking about high expectations, I read an article form amagazine where an Indian woman told about ehr arranged marriage. She had lived in the US before marriage, dated guys and so on. She was, however, disappointed with the eternal search "for the one" and eventually went back to India and agreed to marry the man her parents had introduced to her. The interesting par tof this is that she said her marriage worked out because she didn't have any high expectations about her marriage - she just expected her husband to treat her well and support the family etc. This way, there wasn't any "where is the man I married 10 years ago" because she didn't love him at first so there wasn't any drop from cloud nine to reality. They just sort of grew into the relationship and learned to love each other.

    I'm not saying that marriying for love is bad, I'm just trying to say that an arranged marriage might not be such a bad thing as long as you're not forced into it. Didn't "love" in Japanese mean passionate love that can fade out pretty quickly more than the kind of love that's usually associated with the Western idea of marriage?

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    焼肉わが家が一番!! Suki-Yaki's Avatar
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    pay ..??

    You have to pay to attend a wedding ?!!!!!!!

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    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miu
    I guess you could partially explain the expensive weddings with status. I mean, most people would probably be wed in a cathedral than in a cardboard house, right? And yeah, there's always that one thing people talk about
    Yes, but in the cases of most Japanese (at least in Tokyo), they have their wedding in special reception rooms or luxury hotels because their houses is too small for 100 people and often they don't even have a garden. There is no question of status, just parody. People who can't have their wedding at home because it's too small, even for 20 people, or they are too ashamed of their home, they will never have any status to talk about. That is what makes me sad. Like many other things in Japan, it's so sperficial. It's exactly like those girls/women who absolutely want to have their Vuitton bags, as if it gave them more status. Status is much more than having a handbag by Louis Vuitton. If they sacrifice all their salary for brands or get them bought by their boyfriends, etc. that is just above their status. It's very sad that they can't understand that. Same with weddings.

    I'm not saying that marriying for love is bad, I'm just trying to say that an arranged marriage might not be such a bad thing as long as you're not forced into it. Didn't "love" in Japanese mean passionate love that can fade out pretty quickly more than the kind of love that's usually associated with the Western idea of marriage?
    Good point. I didn't raise the issue of arranged marriage, but it's true that it is at least as common (if not more common) than love marriage. So as not to be misunderstood, arranged marriage in Japan are normally not arranged against the will of the interested. It's more like choosing your ideal partner on a match.com profile, meet them (parents also meet), then decide within weeks which one you marry. That's how things often work in Japan. Few people would get married without their family's consent, and the majority still regard the good relation (including status) of both partners' families as absolutely necessary to get married. This has long been forgotten in most Western families, where the children marry the person they love and not their family.

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    Where I'm Supposed to Be kirei_na_me's Avatar
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    It's all about status and show. At least, I think it is. It's all about showing how much have and about how you can outdo your friends and other family members.

    My husband's two cousins just got married(not to each other, of course). They were brother and sister. The brother got married first and had an extravagant wedding, then the sister had an even more extravagant wedding. It just seems they have to see which one can have the biggest, most expensive affair.

    I'm not into weddings anyway. I got married at the courthouse. It would've been nice to have a small ceremony, but it really isn't necessary. It wasn't like a huge dream of mine. It sure wasn't my goal in life. I didn't even want to get married!
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    Lovely Angel BrennaCeDria's Avatar
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    Well, I personally would love to have a huge wedding, though not in a church or anything (I'm not Christian and when my boyfriend's sister got married in their church, that particular church got on my nerves seriously--it's beautiful, but because it's 'historic' they wouldn't let her flower girls drop petals, etc, very high strung). However, I'd rather have money to go on a honeymoon, so I'm 100% for skimping everywhere possible on paying for a wedding. Hotels cost so much, but the local beach is free for any size wedding as long as you don't rope off an area or try to exclude the general public. It's not the sort of thing I talk about all the time, though. I mean, I *think* about it a hell of a lot anymore, but I don't have very many girlfriends so there's no silly gossip or anything.

    My friend in Chiba, however--her sister is getting married in January, and they're all flying to Guam for the ceremony. I do, in a very big way, envy that. Which, I guess is sort of the point of it.

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    they have their wedding in special reception rooms or luxury hotels because their houses is too small for 100 people
    But isn't this the case in other countries as well? In Finland people rent a place for the reception because no one's house is big enough to host the entire family! I don't think I've been at a single wedding that was held at someone's home... I have never been at a Japanese wedding but I'm quite sure people have just as lavish weddings elsewhere, too. The thing is, though, that you don't have to pay hard cash to participate - atleast in theory ^^; But I think in Japan people give money at funerals, too...?

    In Finland it would be considered be a bit thoughtless, maybe, to give money because it doesn't show any personal touch to your gift. So, in a way you're not required to give the couple a lot of money, but it goes without saying that you have to spend more then 10 euros on it. The amount on money you spend on the gift also depends on how closely you're connected with the couple, so this is another interesting difference because in Japan all fo the guests give the same amount of money?

    Nowadays most couples have probably been living together for quite some time already before getting married or atleast lived by themselves so the more trditional gifts like china, kitchen appliances or bedsheets are pretty useless because they probably already have them. Also, I think that due to globalisation the wedding ceremony is starting to look atleast superficially the same no matter where you go. Though I think that even though it may superficially look like a "Western wedding", the older traditions are still under the surface somewhere.

    Furthermore, considering the value of your reputation (face) in Asian countries, you have to throw up a great party, right? I remember one wedding I attended here in Finland where they didn't have any special foods and people still remember it even though it was years ago. So if you have a wedding, it has to "go right" here, too

    Maybe the expensive weddings have something to do with the modern generations as well... I don't know about japan, but when my parents got married in the 70s, they got married at a court house on their lunch break because it was a cool thing to do. Maybe people are into fancy clothes and throwing rice again Not to forget the fact that living standards have changed.

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    遠いから行きません GaijinPunch's Avatar
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    I don't know man. After 7 years, the only wedding in Japan I went to was my own, and I didn't even get married in Japan. I was invited to one other one (didn't make it b/c I was out of town), and attended 1 nijikai my last year before going. I guess all of my friends were too afraid to committ. Even so, I was invited to way more weddings when I lived in Texas.

    And I think if you'll look at statistics, you'll find that marriage isn't as popular (at least not in practice) as it was a couple of decades ago. (I'm going off what I've heard, not researched, so I could be proven wrong here).

    I think what it comes down to is that with the internet getting pretty big in Japan in the last 5 years (namely due to broadband finally making it there) you just hear about it more.

    Oh, yeah -- I think you high-balled the donations.
    30,000 is for a pretty close relative, or maybe the person's boss. I think the standard for a "friend" or relative that's a cousin or more distant is about 10,000. Of course if you're rich, you have to give more. The parents get hosed the worse, forking up big bucks... money the groom will never see.

  13. #13
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrennaCeDria
    My friend in Chiba, however--her sister is getting married in January, and they're all flying to Guam for the ceremony. I do, in a very big way, envy that. Which, I guess is sort of the point of it.
    I wouldn't even want to go to Guam. That's just a beachy island in the middle of nowhere. We went on "honeymoon" to Hawaii because my wife really insisted, but she was disappointed (of course, having travelled extensively around Europe and India with me before) and it was just as I thought, Nothing much. I would have liked to visit at least the Big Island, but the flight from Honolulu from as expensive as the flight from Tokyo to Honolulu ! Anyway, I can't understand how so many people want to have their wedding in such a boring and ordinary place as Hawaii - let alone Guam ! That seems like anti-status to me ! If you want a nice honeymoon or wedding party, go to Italy or the French Riviera in May, June or September.

    Quote Originally Posted by miu
    But isn't this the case in other countries as well? In Finland people rent a place for the reception because no one's house is big enough to host the entire family!
    Well in my family (quite big, lots of cousins), weddings are almost always at the bride or groom's parents house. Weddings are usually held in late Spring or Summer so that the tables can be installed in the garden (AmE = backyard) and people have more space to move around. But if the weather doesn't allow, it's inside. Of course, not everybody invites 100 people (that depends on how big one's house is), but some do.

    In Finland it would be considered be a bit thoughtless, maybe, to give money because it doesn't show any personal touch to your gift.
    Same in about all Western countries. There is usually a weddig list rather than money, and the price of the presents depends on one's financial capabilities. In Japan, everybody must give money and there is usually no discount, even for family and friends. They actually pay most of the wedding expenses from that money. Some managed to make a profit, but others have to pocket out the rest if they didn't have enough guest to reimburse the wedding dress(es), food, fake priest and reception room. That is also why Japanese weddings are hardly a matter of one's own status, but of your guests' status or generosity. If you set the price per person at 100,000yen, and managed to get 50 or 100 guests who are rich enough to pay that for your wedding, then you can have a perfectly lavish wedding and end up richer than you were before. That is certainly not what I call "status" (well not your own).

    I hope that Japanese are aware of this. Those who aren't are really superficial and just fool themselves on fake status. For those who understand that, why would they like to pressure their family, friends and colleagues to pay for an expensive wedding party ? Isn't it taking advantage of their kindness ? In other words, people having lavish weddings are only those who do not care about their friends and relatives. Or is it just because they know their friends will do the same to them and they try to get as much as they can in "advance compensation" (then the others do it to get their due back). What a vicious circle ! And the Japanese to whom I talked about this seemed to agree that they'd be better off without such a system - but they don't know any other system and annot change it by themselves, if the whole country does not follow. Poor them !

    It is also unacceptable not to go to the wedding of someone who came to your wedding, if you want to keep them as friends. Now I understand why they plan it so long in advance. They want to be sure that as many people as possible can come and avoid absolutely that their friends already have another wedding at the same date, which is the only good excuse not to come to yours. Once they have estimated how many people will come, they can calculate the approximate revenue and decide the venue, or at least food and dress after that. Or the other way round. If you want a very lavish wedding, you try to invite as many people as possible (esp. among colleagues and bosses, as the family has clear limits) and raise the "admission fee" to cover the cost. Usually it is a solution in between, i.e. try to see what is the maximum guest are ready to pay for the max. number of people (knowing that the higher the price and the less people come) and calculate the most economically advantageous solution from that point. Japanese love this kind of careful planning and calculations.
    Last edited by Maciamo; Dec 8, 2004 at 15:32.

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    Well in my family (quite big, lots of cousins), weddings are almost always at the bride or groom's parents house.
    I got to thinking about this and the way I see it is that if you have the reception someweher else than your own house, it also sort of accentuates the situation - it make sit more special. I guess you could also link this to the uchi/soto concept...

    Isn't it taking advantage of their kindness ?
    Didn't you sort of answer this yourself? If you invite someone to your wedding, they expect you to also take part in their wedding, too. So you kind of pay back, right?

    Oddly enough, I happened to stumble across a book about japanese weddings at the library today.
    (Walker Edwards: Modern Japan through Its Weddings, 1989) I just flipped through it but I found the following
    points might may explain the wedding fuss:

    In the late 1940s people could have low cost weddings, funerals etc by paying a monthly fee (for the next ten years
    or so) for a gojokai. The gojokai would then give altar decorations etc for the members' use. Previously the decorations etc
    were owned commnally (for example by a neighbourhood) but in urban areas it was common to rent the stuff from an undertaker.
    So the gojokai merely expanded the service from funerals to weddings as well. Not to even mentiont he fact that people's
    income probably wasn't too great after the Second World War.

    In the 1960s the number of this kind of enterprises increased and they also began renting their own wedding halls. The
    expansion of their facilities also meant that they were able to produce more services than before. And the rest is
    history ;)

    Edwards gave a couple of points to why people have so lavish wedding receptions instead of saving money:

    1) you get a chance to shine for one day

    2) there isn't enough space to host all the guests at your won home

    3) economic prosperity

    4) you can get a wide range of services through a single organisation

    5) people are exposed to a certain picture of what a wedding should look like through media (so I guess the whole thing just
    sort of fuels itself..)

    6) the wedding industry is able to produce services that contribute to the wedding as a rite of passage

    To me it was kind of funny to notice that the whole industry started out as a way to save money while arranging your wedding to
    spending huge amounts of money on it!

    Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way saying that all weddings should be the way they are in Japan - I'm just trying to figure out the thinking behind it ^^; As a student, I would have no way of paying loads of money just to go to someone's wedding. And if they asked me to pay, I'd be probably be offended because they would know I'm a student and not consider my situation at all.

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    Where I'm Supposed to Be kirei_na_me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    We went on "honeymoon" to Hawaii because my wife really insisted, but she was disappointed (of course, having travelled extensively around Europe and India with me before) and it was just as I thought, Nothing much. I would have liked to visit at least the Big Island, but the flight from Honolulu from as expensive as the flight from Tokyo to Honolulu ! Anyway, I can't understand how so many people want to have their wedding in such a boring and ordinary place as Hawaii - let alone Guam ! That seems like anti-status to me ! If you want a nice honeymoon or wedding party, go to Italy or the French Riviera in May, June or September.
    I definitely agree with you about that! I would've never even considered going to Hawaii on my honeymoon, just because every other newlywed Japanese couple goes there. I don't like doing anything that everybody else is doing.

    One of my husband's co-workers took his wife there on their honeymoon just because it was cheap. She wanted to go to Tahiti, but he told my husband that he was going to gloss over Hawaii and make it sound even better than Tahiti to her so he could get off not having to pay much.

    My husband took me to Paris for 2 weeks. He didn't skimp on one thing. He splurged and we pretty much lived like royalty for those days.

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    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    well, I guess I'm just cheap...or I just think differently!

    I don't understand why everyone wants to be in a crowded place right after they marry? I took the wife to a resort in the mountains, a little off the beaten path, very quiet and out of the way so that we could start on our children!

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    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
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    1) you get a chance to shine for one day

    2) there isn't enough space to host all the guests at your won home

    3) economic prosperity

    4) you can get a wide range of services through a single organization

    5) people are exposed to a certain picture of what a wedding should look like through media (so I guess the whole thing just
    sort of fuels itself..)

    6) the wedding industry is able to produce services that contribute to the wedding as a rite of passage
    These observations are very accurate, I would say. The amount of money, time and energy a lot of people spend for a wedding is beyond my capacity. I would fall apart.

    They say it is something needs to be done to show their appreciation to their parents and people who supported the bride and the groom, which I think is BS in Japan, since in many cases the parents often end up helping the couple pay the cost.

    I have been to at least 5 weddings in Japan, and I have noticed that the grooms seemed less excited about it. All of them looked very happy, though.

    Everytime when people ask me what type of a wedding I had, I get giggly because it was very cool.

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    Where I'm Supposed to Be kirei_na_me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    well, I guess I'm just cheap...or I just think differently!

    I don't understand why everyone wants to be in a crowded place right after they marry? I took the wife to a resort in the mountains, a little off the beaten path, very quiet and out of the way so that we could start on our children!


    I had already started on mine, I guess you could say. I was pushing 6 months when we went...

  19. #19
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    I took the wife to a resort in the mountains, a little off the beaten path, very quiet and out of the way so that we could start on our children!
    Funny to see that you also associate marriage with children, like 99,9% of the Japanese.

    For me the connection has never been obvious. It's like associating alcohol witha restaurant or video games with a PC. You can have alcohol in a restaurant and you can play games on a PC, but you don't have to and it's is not their main purpose.

    For me, marriage means a commitment to someone (not necessairly for life, though), social benefits and some other legal advantages and disadvantages.

    Of course it depends a lot on each country's laws. In Japan, there are few social benefits in being married. We can get slightly cheaper health insurance, and get a discount on mobile phone subscription, but that also works for any other familiy member or even non-relative living together. But there are no tax rebates for married couples like in most Western countries.

    I think that Japanese associate children with marriage because the laws makes it almost impossible for the father to be recognised without being married. In Western countries (all, I guess ) any child can be recognised outside marriage, and in case of uncertainty or if the father does acknowledge his offspring, by a DNA test (even against the father's will to recognise the child). But genes just aren't that important for the Japanese. The family name, for example, is more important the the DNA itself, so that a family with no sons will ask at least one of their daughter's husband to adopt their name too.

    Quote Originally Posted by miu
    As a student, I would have no way of paying loads of money just to go to someone's wedding. And if they asked me to pay, I'd be probably be offended because they would know I'm a student and not consider my situation at all.
    I haven't heard that the Japanese made any exception for students or unemplyed people. They would say you can always ask your parents to pay (and pay them back once you work). As I said above, there is no distinction of fee between the ultra-rich company president and the unemployed. What could happen is that richer people give more than is demanded, as a wedding present (the money demanded is otherwise to pay the wedding itself, not really a present, but necessary expenses).

  20. #20
    Regular Member Kei_Shugojin's Avatar
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    *snicker* Sorry. The whole idea of paying to go to someone's wedding sounds a bit silly to me. Sounds to me more like going to six-flags astroworld rather than a ceremony of union between two people who love each other.

    As far as the kids, people have their own definitions and associations between children and marriage. For some, it's a necessity. For some, it's a delightful bonus. For some, it's an absolute "no no". Whatever your association with it, it all depends on the people getting married.

    When I get married, I hope to have kids, but that's not exactly my goal. It's just something I'd like to do. Wether or not it gets accomplished really doesn't have too much bearing on my overall feeling of completeness. lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooker
    Yeah, I'd have to say most Americans don't spend much time discussing marriage (at least the men don't) other than to bad mouth it.
    Oscar Wilde once wrote that he'd never ever want to get married, because if you truly love somebody, you don't need to give "some committment" as if you'd leave her in the first place.

    Well, something along those lines(it's been a while since I read The Importance of Being Ernest)

    Anyways, from what I know, marriage is more important because of the whole family honor in Japan. The Japanese have much respect for their families, and marriage is showing triumph. It shows that you've gotten somewhere in life, and that you'll be happy.

    Marriage in the States is mainly just so 1. You're entailed to a little bit more 2. You now have a "love bond" or w/e and 3. It's just a formality. Quite a few of my friends have gotten married just because they love the person, not because there was some big prize in it. I've been to a few weddings, and never once have I seen the parents of a child say,"Nice job!" or "good for you!" or "you make the family proud!" Generally they just cry and celebrate. I bet if I went to Japan their parents would be hugging them more than the spouse.

    I do not know why Japanese talk about it incesintly as you so put it, but I guess it makes them happier.

  22. #22
    Go to shopping PopCulturePooka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyber ape
    Anyways, from what I know, marriage is more important because of the whole family honor in Japan. The Japanese have much respect for their families, and marriage is showing triumph. It shows that you've gotten somewhere in life, and that you'll be happy.
    Shameit doesn't seem to turn out that way in the end, from what I gather talking to people in families.

  23. #23
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    why westerners talk so much about divorce?
    not talking that evolution talk about big peacock feathers or lions' manes and what not
    but
    women probably need to be concerned about whether a potential spouse will be able to provide something, as they the ones who usually keeping the childrens?
    and that not being concerned about it is one of the reasons america is like it is now?
    and is it 90%/70%/50% of spousal arguments are as a result of arguing about money and what not?
    ttp://www.tcvb.or.jp/

  24. #24
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by budd
    why westerners talk so much about divorce?
    not talking that evolution talk about big peacock feathers or lions' manes and what not
    but
    women probably need to be concerned about whether a potential spouse will be able to provide something, as they the ones who usually keeping the childrens?
    I don't agree. The US has the world's highest rate of divorce, but European countries have a similar or even lower rate than Japan.

    Interestingly, Japanese people do not speak much about divorce, as if they thought it would never happen. In comparison, where I come from it is usual to make a prenuptial agreement settling all potential problems about money or even the children's custody before getting married. When I discussed this we some Japanese friends, it transpired that Japanese do not want to think about the possibility of divorce when they are getting married, eventhough 1/3 of people end up divorcing in Japan (33.1 divorces per 100 marriage). That made me think that Japanese do not care enough about what's really important, and prefer talking only about their gorgeous wedding party and what age they should get married.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyber ape
    Anyways, from what I know, marriage is more important because of the whole family honor in Japan. The Japanese have much respect for their families, and marriage is showing triumph. It shows that you've gotten somewhere in life, and that you'll be happy.
    I am not quite sure about that. What about all the Japanese marrying foreigners, while there will usually be someone in the family (often a grandparent) that objects or would prefer that they'd marry a Japanese ?
    Then in my case, my wife's family is only 2 people, and their opnion was not decisive in getting married, but why wife still insisted on having a lavish wedding party. What I don't understand is why she or her married friends continue to talk about marriage (other people's marriage, or comapring each other's situtation, which can only lead to jealousy on one part or the other) years after getting married ?

    On TV there are special programmes discussing marriage or all its perversities almost everyday. For example, every Sunday night there is a TV programme where they ask people which of two (perverted) things they'd accept more easily. Yesterday was something like 1) "a wife that kisses any man she happens to be with when she is drunk, even in front of her appaled husband" or 2) a wife that has bad relationship with your brother (not sure about this 2nd one, as I just overheard while eating). Last week there was also would you prefer a husband that 1) suffers from mother complex or 2) a stalker ?
    There are also more "regular" programmes, but I was suprised that the participants were not just women in their late teens or early twenties, but rather men and women between 25 and 50 years old (so many of them probably already married).

  25. #25
    遠いから行きません GaijinPunch's Avatar
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    I definitely agree with you about that! I would've never even considered going to Hawaii on my honeymoon, just because every other newlywed Japanese couple goes there. I don't like doing anything that everybody else is doing
    tell me about it. I got married on Kauai, mainly b/c it was the only place to have a 2-person wedding in style. In Japan, that just means the piece of paper, and I didn't want to do that. Kauai was nice, but Honolulu was of course a tourist trap (Waikiki). In short, we didn't like it. 1-year later, the freakin' office moved there (here) and my wife already talks about moving back to Japan... we just moved here in October.

    Interestingly, Japanese people do not speak much about divorce,
    My wife must be the exception. (see above). Haha.

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