In an article written by Cristoph Mark entitled Love, ‘darling’ style for the Daily Yomiuri, he discussed the issue of having an international marriage in Japan meaning that the couples have different nationalities or cultural background. In Japan, only a small percentage engages in mixed marriages, probably because Japanese seemed more traditional and close-knit. Also, Japanese cultured tend to be more conventional and more family-oriented. Having diverse origins between a husband and a wife would entail a clash on what practices or beliefs should prevail in the household.
Based on the couple that was interviewed by Cristoph who were Tony, an English social advocate and Saori, a Japanese manga artist and writer, they conceded to the idea that an international marriage causes cultural differences. However, in their case, they believe that their differences are just mere variation of preferences that are most likely influenced by their partiality over a certain belief or inclination and not by tradition or culture. But at the latter part of the article, the couple mentioned that they have been experiencing difficulty in determining the language that they would teach their son (Cristoph, 2009).
This clearly shows that no matter how much people exert an effort to have tolerance and acceptance to make international marriages work, cultural difference will always be a concern. In Japan, much importance is given to the concept of family. Japanese families have continuity. From their ancient ancestors to present descendants, each member of the family is respected and their traditional practices are passed on from one generation to another. Also, the head of family always fall into the hands of the father making a Japanese family patriarchal.
However, due to changing times and the occurrence urbanism and low birth rate, this traditional practice and belief is being challenged. Nowadays, contemporary Japanese are opting to prioritize their careers rather than starting a family particularly among women. For them, having a contemporary lifestyle is more convenient and practical than their traditional practices. Despite these changes, a majority of the Japanese still prefers to adhere with their traditional concept of a family.
In an another article published at the Daily Yomiuri entitled Girl upset over mom marrying foreigner, it talked about the dilemma of a Japanese woman who had married a non-Japanese man without the approval of her daughter and her family after she had separated from her first husband. Because of this issue, it caused a major rift between the woman and her daughter (Daily Yomiuri, 2009). As mentioned, a typical Japanese family is close knit and very conservative.
Based on Japanese culture, weddings are treated as sacred rituals that symbolize the rite of passage from one social status to another. More so, weddings can represent the transition to adulthood or a step to parenthood. Traditionally, wedding ceremonies should have family involvement. Also, it should follow several preparatory steps prior to the wedding itself. There is the seeking of parental approval and then choosing mediator, followed by betrothal gift and the scheduling the date and selecting the location for the wedding.
The ceremony can either be based on Shintoism or Christianity wherein the rituals are categorized into formal and informal stages. These wedding rituals always represent a symbolical meaning that pertains to the futures roles of the couple as husband and wife. The Japanese also stresses the concept of permanence. They believe that an ideal marriage is forever and they also strongly disagree with the idea of divorce. But in the reply of the lawyer to the letter of the woman, he did not despise the actions of the woman even though she violated most of the Japanese practices on weddings.
For him, international marriages are common. But in order to resolve her problems, all she needed to do is talk with her daughter. Tradition and culture does not pose a major threat anymore in finding true love or in the woman’s case financial support and the completion of their family (Daily Yomiuri, 2009). Generally, Japanese culture has remained intact for centuries. It was able to preserve its traditional beliefs and practices particularly on the concept of a family.
But due to the birth of modernization, new sets of perspectives and ideas are enticing the Japanese to adapt a more contemporary way living which entails discarding or compromising their Japanese culture and tradition. References Cristoph, M. (2009, April 10). Love, ‘darling’ style. Retrieved April 17, 2009, from http://www. yomiuri. co. jp/dy/features/arts/20090410TDY12001. htm Daily Yomiuri. (2009, April 10). Girl upset over mom marrying foreigner. Retrieved April 17, 2009, from http://www. yomiuri. co. jp/dy/columns/advice/20090410TDY13001. htm
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