A typical Shinto marriage would involve singles getting united on their own with the practice of ‘Mi-Ai’. ‘Mi-Ai ‘is actually an interview for a man and a woman, who are to get married, arranged by their parents, or some third party acting as a moderator in between them. It is not however compulsory for either of the parties involved to accept ‘Mi-Ai’ as a promise for marriage. One can see these ‘Mi-Ai’ interviews being held in public places such as hotels in large numbers. It is actually part of Japan’s rich history and cultural traditions.
Most of the Japanese brides and bridge grooms are proud of their country’s rich culture and observe them religiously. A visit to a Japanese ceremony is perhaps the best way to explore their traditions. The entire marriage system in Japan has undergone various changes over a period of time. The most significant change however which is reported to have occurred somewhere in the 13th to the 14th centuries is the change of practice for a bridegroom to enter the family of his bride to the current system of a bride to be accepted into her bridegroom’s family.
Typical Shinto weddings are performed before Shinto sanctuaries. The Japanese ceremony is presided over usually by a Shinto priest, who begins with the purification service. This ceremony is attended by members of families, friends and relatives. You can find many Japanese brides and bridegrooms getting united in marriage this way during the marriage season. Another unique ritual is the ‘San-San-Kudo’ or a ceremony where nuptial cups are exchanged between the bridegroom and the bride. Many Japanese brides and bridegrooms are also exchanging wedding rings as a popular practice these days. Then the couple offers the twigs of the sacred tree known as ‘Sakaki’ in worship to the Gods.
A Shinto wedding is often accompanied by the traditional Japanese music. You can find several leading hotels and restaurants in Japan being equipped with a special hall or room for wedding ceremonies. There are many Christian weddings that take place in churches around Japan too. You can also find Buddhist nuptials in the temple, apart from civil wedding sin public offices. A typical Buddhist wedding includes a prayer and the presentation of Buddhist rosaries. The advent of modern technology such as the internet and the busier lifestyles has also had their effect on Japanese marriages. Many Japanese brides and bride grooms are meeting online now days. In fact a large number of Japanese find their prospective life partners through online resources.