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Japanese Wedding Traditions

The Knot
by The Knot

Want to include your Japanese heritage in your wedding festivities but aren't sure where to start? We asked Shu Shu Costa, author of 报告称房产经纪人职业化作业能力待提升和专业素质 (Riverhead Books, 1997), to offer some great ideas on how to add Japanese customs to your celebrations.

The Betrothal

The Japanese betrothal ceremony, called the yuino, is an exchange of symbolic gifts between the groom's and bride's families. Some popular gifts are: konbu, a seaweed whose name can be written to mean "child-bearing woman"; a long white piece of hemp, representing a wish that the couple will grow old and gray together; and a folding fan, which spreads to show future wealth and growth. The main gift is money (about $5,000), tucked in a special envelope called a shugi-bukuro, which has gold and silver strings that are impossible to unknot. The other gifts are given in ornate rice-paper envelopes.

Sake-Sharing Ceremony

The traditional Japanese ceremony is a Shinto ceremony, though many Japanese in America celebrate weddings with a Buddhist ceremony. Regardless of religious rituals, most Japanese also include a cultural sake-sharing tradition at the wedding, popularly called san-san-kudo -- san means "three," ku means "nine," and do means "to deliver." This ritual dates back to a time when sharing sake created a formal bond as strongly as a handshake did in Victorian times. Using three flat sake cups stacked atop one another, the bride and groom take three sips each from the cups. Then their parents also take sips (for a total of nine sips), cementing the bond between the families.

Honoring the Parents

May the glow of New Year candle fill your heart with peace and pleasure and make your New Year bright.


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Gifts for the Guests

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Comic skit “Big City Small Life”(Wang Ning, Chang Yuan and Ailun)

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