Japanese bride and Japanese family relations
A short excursion into history
Despite the penetration of Western traditions into the Japanese way of life, the family in Japan remains a very important social institution. In past centuries, Japanese families were very large communities. Several generations lived simultaneously in one house: from great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers to grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The grandfather, father or elder son was a head of clan. Everyone in the clan was submitted to him, and he was responsible for all the rest of family. There was a strict hierarchy in Japanese family relations: the younger ones always obeyed the elders, the women submitted to men. At present, the average Japanese family consists of two parents and 2-3 children.
Now many Japanese women get married in traditional European dresses, but still lot of them adhere to the traditions. During the wedding Japanese bride has time to change clothes several times. Before the ceremony, she is dressed in a white wedding kimono. The white color does not symbolize innocence in Japan: this function is performed by blue color. White color in this case has a completely different meaning: the bride is in intermediate position; she no longer belongs to her family, but has not yet moved to the family of her husband. The bride also puts on a head a white hat or a hood.
After the ceremony, bride changes into a colorful festive kimono, or in a European dress, and during a banquet she changes again – in an evening dress.
Some features of the upbringing in Japan are well known. For example, the fact that little children are not banned until 5-6 years old, they are not scolded and are not punished at all. In this country, it is believed that the process of raising of a child would take place on example of parents, depending on how his mother behaves, and how his father behaves. Although often fathers-workaholics communicate with their children only on weekends, and women traditionally perform the role of keepers of the home.
Little children sleep in the same bed with their mother, who feeds them with her breasts, on demand. Before the baby reaches the age of 3, Japanese wives usually do not work and spend their time with children.
The child’s life changes critically from the moment it went to school. If before that time everything was permitted for the children, in school from very first days they fall into a strict system of norms, rules and morals. The principles of collectivism are pawned into their mind: the primacy of common interests over personal, culture, etiquette and norms of social behavior.
The views on family life in the younger generation vary considerably, comparatively to traditional ones. So, according to recent surveys, men consider that the age to be suitable for marriage is 30 years, women – 25 years. On average, in modern society, a man gets married at 31, a woman – at 28.
Last decade, the birth rate in Japan is steadily falling. This is due both to the high costs incurred in the birth of children, and the unwillingness of Japanese women to abandon their careers and all the charms of nowaday life, in return on a subordinate position in a family limited by home life and caring for children.