Dating customs in japan

The institution of marriage in Japan has changed radically over the last millennium.

Indigenous practices adapted first to Chinese Confucianism during the medieval era, and then to Western concepts of individualism, gender equality, romantic love, and the nuclear family during the modern era.

Traditionally, marriages were categorized into two types according to the method of finding a partner—omiai, meaning arranged or resulting from an arranged introduction, and ren'ai, in which the husband and wife met and decided to marry on their own—although the distinction has grown less meaningful over postwar decades as Western ideas of love alter Japanese perceptions of marriage.

A visitor to Japan described the omiai as "a meeting at which the lovers (if persons unknown to each other may be so styled) are allowed to see, sometimes even to speak to each other, and thus estimate each others' merits." However, their objections carried little weight.

The meeting was originally a samurai custom which became widespread during the early twentieth century, when commoners began to arrange marriages for their children through a go-between Courtship remained rare in Japan at this period.

Parents sometimes staged an arranged marriage to legitimize a "love match," but many others resulted in separation and sometimes suicide. A proposal by Baron Hozumi, who had studied abroad, that the absence of love be made a grounds for divorce failed to pass during debates on the Meiji Civil Code of 1898.

Marriage, like other social institutions of this period, emphasized the subordinate inferiority of women to men.

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