Traditional Japanese Wedding Ceremony
Spring and autumn are the favourite seasons for Japanese weddings. On certain days, which are considered auspicious in the Japanese almanac, there may be as many as forty couples united in Japanese weddings at a Shinto shrine.
The Shinto wedding is performed before a Shinto sanctuary. Many hotels and restaurants are equipped with a special room for wedding ceremonies. A wedding is usually attended by members of both families, close relatives and the go-betweens.
Mi-ai - Part of a Traditional Japanese Wedding
While it is true that more and more young men and women are united in marriage on their own will through love, the practice of "Mi-ai" is still widely observed to end in a happy married life for many. "Mi-ai" is an interview for a man and woman with a view to marriage, as arranged by their parents or a third party acting as a go-between. It is proposed with due consideration to social backgrounds and other factors of the prospective bride, bridegroom and their families. It is not compulsory on either of the parties concerned to accept such "Mi-ai" as a promise for marriage.
Prior to 1900's, the practice of "mi-ai" (an arranged meeting between a man and a woman with a view to marriage) was more a formality than an opportunity for a young man and woman to meet and get to know each other. Today, a matchmaker may be a family member or a friend who would arrange for an initial meeting between the young man and woman thought to be suited for each other in marriage. These initial meeting is usually arranged at a public place such as a restaurant or a theatre.
In the old days when "mi-ai" was a mere formality, a young man would be invited to the home of the young woman. If he were favourably impressed, he would leave behind a fan to indicate his acceptance to pursue the marriage. In the old days however, the bride-to-be had little say on the issue.
Hakama pants are a gift to the groom as part of the Yui-no, the phase of the traditional Japanese wedding. For a wedding they would be black, but to emphasis the detail of the design we have shown a patterned style.