What it Takes to Get Married in Japan

by Hiroki Yanagisawa on April 21, 2011 5:05 PM

What it takes to get married in Japan.

The founder and reporter of pretty much all the articles of EDGY JAPAN, Hiroki Yanagisawa, is getting married in September 2011. This is a story, which reveals what it takes to get married in Japan.


Let me begin this essay by confessing one thing -- for the last 32 years or so (I'm 33 now.), marriage was not listed on my "lifelong to-do list" or so-called a bucket list. I was more of a worshipper of the idea of partnership, not being adhered to this lawfully defined status. To add more, Japanese style wedding ceremony (to be explained later in the story) is such a cliche and I've been thinking it wasn't really for me.

But the change has come to me. Many external factors in the past year have influenced me to surrender this 3 decades long perception.

One, my younger sister, Ayako, who was a worshipper of same "partnership religion" got married and received a baby. And she's happy as hell. In her case, it was more like a shotgun wedding. Before becoming pregnant, she consistently admitted that she won't have a baby for a rest of her life, because that's not her thing. But after becoming pregnant and decided to give a birth -- her life has completely changed -- mentally and physically transferring herself to a sister to mom.

She adores Aoi, lovely 3 years old daughter, and in fact, I do too. To be honest with you, I, too, used be uninterested with the idea of having a baby in my future. But Aoi-chan's existence just melted the icy and hard ballicade of no-baby status. It's simply because she's so damn cute. (The point is, in the past, many of my friends showed off their babies to me, and I've never felt that they are as cute as they've emphasized. But Aoi-chan is such a shocker and I just can't stop adoring her. Put me a big smile when she talks to me, or give me a high-five.)

Two, is meeting a right person at the right time.

I've been dating with this lady, Terrie, a Chiba-born Japanese, and bred in Austin, TX and San Diego, for almost 3 years. Considering the fact that she's authentically Japanese, her super-outgoing, dynamic, and energetic behavior and style are an eye opener, and as for myself -- a Japanese raised in Hong Kong and the US, her "always outward, outgoing" style was simply a great match for me. I do admit that we've had some struggles in the course of dating, but we bonded, and united stronger as we accumulate our days together.

So, this not-so-Japanese-but-Japanese couple is getting married in 6 months time.

How are we going to deal with it? What it takes to get married in Japan?

The journey is about to begin.

Please note that the couple on the main image is NOT Hiroki Yanagisawa. The groom is one of the edgy talents -- Noriaki Coda.

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