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  1. #1
    Œ‹àŽ– (what a tasty dog) A ke bono kane kotto's Avatar
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    Question Wedding rings costing 3x a man's salary ?

    I was chatting with a Japanese friend, and she told me that it was common in Japan these days for a man to pay three times his monthly salary to buy his fiancee's wedding ring. I couldn't believe it, so my friend said that the Japanese showed their love by buying expensive presents. The more expensive, the better proof of love it is.

    Is this true ? I heard that the Japanese were more materialists than Europeans, but this is really unbelievable for me.

    How does that relate with the tradition of omiyage, toshi-dama and present-giving in general ? Are they all signs of affection, or just duty ?
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  2. #2
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    I'm not surprised about this. Japanese love spending money especially when it's about a wedding. An average wedding cost about 3.000.000 yen here. Which is about 8x a man's salary

    We only paid a one month salary a person for it, not too bad I guess.
    Last edited by Dutch Baka; Feb 12, 2008 at 18:42. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    TAN Hiroyuki Nagashima's Avatar
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    A price of a wedding ring seems to be equal to or less than 200000 yen on an average.
    3 times of a salary seem to be strategies of the jewelry industry.

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    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    People budget to buy engagement rings at 3 times a month's (not year's) salary and wedding rings at much cheaper cost (could be dirt cheap at 20,000 - 50,000 yen or slightly higher at 100,000 yen, but these are definitely cheaper than even ONE month's salary). Source: my Japanese wife

    O-toshi-dama is a mix of affection and duty. My kid gets the money from some but not all of his aunts and uncles (and certainly from his grandparents).

    Omiyage (like returning from a vacation or business trip) is more a thing of duty, IMO.

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    Sister Earth Goldiegirl's Avatar
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    I didn't expect a fancy wedding ring and I didn't actually want one, but my husband did buy me a beautiful diamond ring from Tiffany's. I have never worn it and it sits in the original box on our dresser. I get "presents" more than "I love you's". It bothered me, but now I understand that that is his way of expressing his feelings. I told him he doesn't have to, but I think he is more comfortable that way. We all have different ways to express affection. I don't think anyone should go "broke" though with gift giving and buying!
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    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    Unfortunately it is true in the US and in Japan. Luckily for me my Japanese wife thought it absurd and never insisted on it and thought it stupid even today. She was happy with the small ring I bought her some 23 years ago and wore it proudly on our 25th anniversary the other night! I think I paid about 200,000 yen at the time which is a lot less than it is today. At that time it was about 1 months salary.

    On the other hand there are materialistic women of all cultures who will insist on the "norm" of a few months salary! If that is so important to them then they would not be the type of woman I would desire to marry.
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    Veni, vidi... vicodin? GodEmperorLeto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro View Post
    Luckily for me my Japanese wife thought it absurd and never insisted on it and thought it stupid even today.
    You have a keeper right there.

    Quote Originally Posted by nice gaijin
    3 months salary is considered the "norm," over here as well.
    Absolutely. Robbins' Diamonds has a marketing campaign where it shows women in their "oh!"-face (surprise/shock at the size of the diamond).

    I'm probably never going to get married. I don't like the idea of shelling out 3 month's salary on a stone that killed 3 peasants in Sierra Leone just to get to some girl's finger. I seem to rarely run into women who believe the same as I do.

    The whole engagement-ring tradition goes back to the concept of the dowery and the bride-price. Instead of paying a bride-price, Western men during the last two centuries or so would purchase a diamond ring at three-months' salary to prove they can care for theif fiancee to her father. This dates back to an era when the woman didn't work. In my opinion, now that it is not only socially acceptable and encouragable for women to work, but in some areas downright necessary, I think this is an incredibly outdated custom that proves nothing and favors the woman infinitely over the man.

    Indeed, the idea of buying the ring was that it was a material that would not decline in value and could be resold if the woman (or her father) broke the engagement, or did something to justify a divorce.* I doubt you will be able to sell your ring for more than 1/2 of what you paid to get it these days.

    As for the Japanese, I have no doubt that they got the custom from the West. It is perfectly logical, too, in a culture that is as patriarchal as traditional Japan. Proving to a father that you earn enough to support his daughter is important in many traditional societies, and the purchase of such a ring is evidence of disposable income. In Japan, it might not be that outdated, though, because women still have a higher tendency to a homemaker's role than in the United States or other Western nations.

    *NOTE: We are talking Victorian-era and earlier mentality, here.
    Ὦ ƒÌƒÃῖƒË', ἀƒÁƒÁέƒÉƒÉƒÃƒÇƒË ƒ©ƒ¿ƒÈƒÃƒÂƒ¿ƒÇƒÊƒÍƒËίƒÍƒÇς ὅƒÑƒÇ ƒÑῇƒÂƒÃ
    ƒÈƒÃίƒÊƒÃƒÆƒ¿, ƒÑƒÍῖς ƒÈƒÃίƒËƒÖƒË ῥήƒÊƒ¿ƒÐƒÇ ƒÎƒÃƒÇƒÆόƒÊƒÃƒËƒÍƒÇ.

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    Œ‹àŽ– (what a tasty dog) A ke bono kane kotto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GodEmperorLeto View Post
    The whole engagement-ring tradition goes back to the concept of the dowery and the bride-price. Instead of paying a bride-price, Western men during the last two centuries or so would purchase a diamond ring at three-months' salary to prove they can care for theif fiancee to her father. This dates back to an era when the woman didn't work. In my opinion, now that it is not only socially acceptable and encouragable for women to work, but in some areas downright necessary, I think this is an incredibly outdated custom that proves nothing and favors the woman infinitely over the man.
    Nice theory, but I don't think it's true. My parents or grand-parents, or great-grand-parents never had a diamond ring. Who could afford a diamond ring until the 1960's, except the very rich ? I don't think it is more common now, because many young couples don't even get married these days. It is more of an American phenomenon. That's why it is also common in Japan or South Korea, but not really in Europe. Consumerism has never worked very well in Europe.

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    Veni, vidi... vicodin? GodEmperorLeto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A ke bono kane kotto View Post
    Nice theory, but I don't think it's true. My parents or grand-parents, or great-grand-parents never had a diamond ring. Who could afford a diamond ring until the 1960's, except the very rich ?
    Many common Western practices originated with the rich. You're right, not everyone could afford these things. Diamond rings were usually purchased by the wealthy as a sort of bride-wealth or proof of financial security.

    It is more of an American phenomenon.
    I'll give you that point.

  10. #10
    Tubthumper JimmySeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engagement_ring#_note-0
    The diamond engagement ring did not become the standard it is considered today until after an extensive marketing campaign by De Beers in the middle of the 20th century, which came to include one of the most famous advertising slogans of the 20th century: gA Diamond is Foreverh.
    When I do eventually buy an engagement ring, I'm fairly sure it will not be a diamond. Diamonds, in particular, carry a history of human exploitation, and are far overpriced due to artificial scarcity. There are plenty of precious stones that are inherently just as valuable as diamonds, without all the baggage.

  11. #11
    Back home maushan3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GodEmperorLeto View Post
    You have a keeper right there.
    Absolutely. Robbins' Diamonds has a marketing campaign where it shows women in their "oh!"-face (surprise/shock at the size of the diamond).
    I'm probably never going to get married. I don't like the idea of shelling out 3 month's salary on a stone that killed 3 peasants in Sierra Leone just to get to some girl's finger. I seem to rarely run into women who believe the same as I do.
    I had no idea about this until I read an article on, I believe it was Time, or Newsweek, about message movies.
    I had no previous idea that diamonds are a big part of human slavery nowadays and well, I am to young to think about wedding anytime soon but this is an issue that should be brought to light.

    The movie is called Blood Diamond with Leonardo Di Caprio and Djimon Honsou. I have not watched it myself but will, to see what judgement I come up about the issue after watching the film.

    As for the Japanese, I have no doubt that they got the custom from the West.
    Word. Isn't it the same for many things besides the diamond ring?

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    Fear my Niftyness MadamePapillon's Avatar
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    Not many Americans have such a tradition. Sounds like movie hype to me. I have not heard of Japanese with such a tradition.
    Actually, it's a pretty well known tradition. Not just for wedding rings but family heirlooms in general, Grandmas pearls, Moms wedding dress. I think it might have something to do with that wedding rhyme: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

    I think that how it goes

    The movie is called Blood Diamond with Leonardo Di Caprio and Djimon Honsou. I have not watched it myself but will, to see what judgement I come up about the issue after watching the film.
    It's a good movie, a real eye opener in the sheer amount of blood, death and corruption that happens just so a girl can wear a shiny rock on her finger.

    It's sad that people know this but turn a blind eye...nobody wants to know that their precious wedding ring is a Blood Diamond and probably cost someone their life...or their families lives.
    All Hail to the HYPNOTOAD *clap* *clap* *clap*

  13. #13
    Resident Realist nice gaijin's Avatar
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    3 months salary is considered the "norm," over here as well. This has nothing to do with Japan and everything to do with standards imposed on consumers. "If you care, you'll spend a lot of money."

  14. #14
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    I was just talking about the cost of wedding rings the other day with my friends, and how I think that spending a lot of money on a ring is just about the most bogus thing in the world. I think a ring should be unique, and something the woman likes, but not necessarily an expensive ring or one with diamonds.

    Women that think they deserve something like that, or would be disappointed if they didn't get a flashy ring astound me. A marriage has nothing to do with the price of token it is sealed with and everything to do with the following weeks months and years and the couples commitment to each other and their marriage.

  15. #15
    •Ö—˜‰® orochi's Avatar
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    Blowing 3 month's salary on a ring is pretty easy in Japan where 32 year old Taro is still living with Mom and Dad and has yet to pay rent or utilities once in his entire life.

    Find something that you and your future wife are happy with. That's all that matters. There's no use in wearing a down payment on a house around your finger.

    Also keep in mind that most Japanese women will NOT wear their engagement rings after they are married. They'll only wear the wedding ring.

  16. #16
    Œ‹àŽ– (what a tasty dog) A ke bono kane kotto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orochi View Post
    Also keep in mind that most Japanese women will NOT wear their engagement rings after they are married. They'll only wear the wedding ring.
    Is that different from Western countries ? I wasn't even aware that there were 2 different rings.

  17. #17
    INTP Derfel's Avatar
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    Its new to me as well.
    I personally don't like jewelry, so no matter what I do, I can't understand this whole wedding hype thing. Spending that much is plain moronic.
    Its more like a simplemindedness meter than an affection meter lol.

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    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    Nice gaijin said it best when he said it is all advertising and the manipulation/brainwashing of the consumer into believing a false assumption much like mothers day was made up by the card companies.

    Here in the US, with it being Valentines Day, I have to laugh at all the recent ads by jewelery stores enticing the husbands to purchase "Wife Insurance" and all.

    If it takes Valentines day for you to express to your loved one how you feel or to buy her jewelery then you have problems. The same holds true for an outrageous expensive engagement ring. I just don't get it and probably never will.

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    Horizon Rider Kinsao's Avatar
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    In England I believe it's the tradition that it's one month's salary - but I never even heard of that until recently.

    My fiance was more bothered about buying me a really nice ring than I was. For me, any cheap thing would have done, because it's the relationship that's important, not the ring or any such material things. Luckily we are both in agreement on that, but he wanted to buy me a nice ring because he thought to buy a dead cheap one would be like saying I'm not worth spending much. But I was determined not to let him spend too much, and he saved up and paid for the ring in cash. It was the plainest ring in the cabinet but in all honesty it is the one I liked best. I can't stand big flashy diamonds and I wanted something small (also for practical reasons!).

    Here, I think it depends on the individual if they wear both rings after marriage or just one. My mum only wore her wedding ring except on special occasions, and I had planned to do the same. But I kinda got used to my engagement ring now, and I think I might end up just carrying on wearing it. It would seem a shame not to, as he worked so hard to get it and it's so pretty, and besides, if I left it in my house I might get a house thief! o_o

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    Œ‹àŽ– (what a tasty dog) A ke bono kane kotto's Avatar
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    I have another question about rings. Americans seem to have the tradition of keeping some wedding rings in the family from generation to generation. I have never heard of this practice in Europe. Japan being so americanised, does this practice exist in Japan ?

  21. #21
    Just me Glenski's Avatar
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    Not many Americans have such a tradition. Sounds like movie hype to me. I have not heard of Japanese with such a tradition.

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    Sister Earth Goldiegirl's Avatar
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    No girl wants a used ring. It's sometimes given as a present to represent being welcomed into the family. I have my mothers wedding ring and my grandmothers. I have never worn them as my wedding ring. None of my married Japanese friends wear wedding rings. Well one, but he is American and his wife is Japanese.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldiegirl View Post
    No girl wants a used ring.
    Quote of the day

  24. #24
    Sister Earth Goldiegirl's Avatar
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    What's actually really bad is someone who gives you his "ex's" ring.....that is truly in poor taste.
    Yay, I got the quote of the day!

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