Culture Diversity: How marriage in the U.S. differ from Japan Brian Moore
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology ANT 101
May 6, 2010
Culture Diversity: How marriage in the U.S. differ from Japan
Marriage is a respected tradition all over the world, followed in all cultures with different rituals. It is the legal engagement of a man and woman, giving them the respect and dignity of a family, the individuals agreeing to the strong relationship bond being called husband and wife. The union that is bestowed upon the two individuals is considered to be holy and is hoped to bring happiness to their lives, providing a companion to share their life with. Marriages can be different in different cultures, following different ceremonies, traditional practices, and rituals. However, the intention of the ceremony is always the same, to bring the man and woman together, to give them the status of a family and let them live in unison. A marriage is the form of satisfying a human need for a companion to share the life with, the sorrows, the pain, the joys and the affection. It is in the nature of a human to love and to want to live in the company of a partner; this is satisfied by a marriage. Although all weddings serve the same purpose, different cultures follow different traditional practices and follow different sets of rules regarding the process of marriage. The ceremonies are quite different, including the pre-marriage and post-marriage ceremonies. Background
Marriage is a significant part of cultures all over the world and so various cultural elements get exhibited during the marriage ceremonies. This includes the American as well as the Japanese wedding ceremonies. That is, each country’s cultural aspect gets exhibited and incorporated in the marriage ceremonies that are conducted in the respective countries. Here, the key issue is, as America and Japan have distinct culture and traditions different from one another, the American marriage ceremony and the Japanese marriage ceremony have many differences. The differences in cultures can be clearly seen in the ceremonies, practices and rules that the wedding ceremony follows
in America and Japan. So, this paper will compare the tradition or practice of American marriage ceremony with the Japanese marriage ceremony. Differences regarding the aspect of religion
In America, weddings can be religious or a secular or a social event, and so they can take place anywhere. Although, the majority of the Americans are Christians and so their marriage naturally takes place in churches. However, with the identity of different groups like Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish, the site of marriage also may differ. In addition, American marriages can also take place practically anywhere. It could be any place that the couple thinks has the setting for a lively and happy celebration; a place that would make the day a lot more memorable. The only requirement would be a clergyman who would have to certify the wedding, legally wedding the two individuals.
In Japan, religion plays a major role and so most of the Japanese marriages take place in Shinto shrines. Majority of the Japanese follow Shinto or Buddhism or both and so the most common religious place for marriage is the Shinto Shrines and so these shrines provide wedding sites for marriage. The historical practice of a typical Japanese wedding is meant to be conducted in a Shinto Shrine. It is the basic necessity for a traditional Japanese wedding. However, practices have changed over time and not all Japanese weddings are conducted in Shinto Shrines these days. Although not followed by all, wedding sites often help by offering couples with Shrines that they may get married in. This would allow for the wedding to be all the more traditional and typical.
However, in the past few decades, the religious aspect of Japanese weddings has undergone...