Japanese Arranged Marriages

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For centuries, arranged marriages between social classes have been a tradition. Since World War II ended in 1945, “love” marriages have become more and more common. Social class has somewhat ended with the establishment of the Tenant Laws; which abolished landlords and divided land between Japanese peasants and farmers. Now, marriage is becoming much like that of the United States’. The rise of non-arranged marriage is a positive event; it is helping Japan progress towards a freer nation which is not tied down by it’s past.

Marriages have undergone several changes throughout the history of Japan. Muko-iri was the original form of marriage practiced in Japan. The marriage was arranged by older relatives and parents, and the man would visit the bride nightly and work for her family for some time. He would eventually be allowed to live with the bride’s family when a child was born or a parent died (“Japanese Marriage-History” par. 1). Yome-iri came into practice in 13th and 14th century Japan. This type of marriage was arranged by older relatives, sometimes by a matchmaker. In Yome-iri, the woman would join the man’s family once circumstances allowed (“Japanese Lifestyle” par 2). It wasn’t until the end of World War II that “love” marriages began to be practiced. In the 1940’s, over 70% of marriages were arranged (“Tying the Knot” par. 1). By the 1960’s, less than half of marriages in Japan were arranged. Now, less than 10% of Japanese marriages are arranged (“Tying the Knot” par. 3). This progression towards the common use of non-arranged marriages can be argued as either positive and innovative or as a loss of culture.

Traditional arranged marriage has extreme cultural ties, but it also limits freedom of choice. India’s continued practice of arranged marriages has often been criticised by people around the world. Many argue that abolishing arranged marriages is that it would result a complicated loss of culture. This can be argued for Japan because arranged...
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