Japan is a mysterious country. Storage of traditions, education of one’s own dignity, inclination to contemplation, incomprehensible to Europeans are attracted and fascinated. The history of the country could not but affect the life of the Japanese and the way they build family relations.
In the life of a Japanese family – it’s sacred. The patriarchal way of life is present in the Japanese family institute today. Reverence to the ancestors, submission to the seniority are an integral part of life: the first-born are spoiled, the younger ones submit to the elders, whether the relationship between parents and children or between brothers and sisters. A woman must obey a man.
In each house there is an altar-stand “kamidan”, on which there are symbols of ancestors. Daily they are revered: in the morning – clapping and bowing, in the evening – lighting candles. On the days of holidays, the ancestors receive offerings – flowers and vegetable food. Veneration of ancestors is a symbol of family well-being.
Traditional views suggest marriage by calculation, regardless of the true feelings of the young. Although there is a “renai” in Japan – a love marriage, there is often a mutually beneficial “Omia” union for families.
His organizer is an intermediary – “kakado”, who selects couples based on social status. Young people exchange photos and autobiographies, after which the ceremony of engagement “yuino” takes place, where families exchange nine ritual gifts – symbols of happiness.
In Japan they marry late – men around 32, women in 28 years. The ceremony of the wedding can take place according to the Shinto or Christian rite. At the Shinto wedding on the head of the bride a special white kerchief – “tsuno-kakusi” – “cover for the horns.”
According to the belief, a jealous bride can grow horns so that this does not happen, on her handkerchief. The ritual is followed by marriage vows – “san-san-kudo” – a ritual exchange of cups with sake. The bride and groom must drink three times a cup, each time the size of the vessel increases.
After the ceremony, the reception time is approximately for 100 guests. Guests write down their names and leave envelopes with a money gift “syugi-bucuro”, tied with a strong knot – a symbol of the continuity of marriage ties.
During the celebration, the bride changes dress at least three times, the last outfit is European. The main event of the feast is the cutting of a huge cake, sometimes not real.
Usually a young family lives with their parents, since housing is expensive. Both spouses work hard, postponing to the bank at least 14% of income. Outwardly it may seem that a Japanese woman is subject to a spouse, but today it is not always so.
Japanese women are not in a hurry not only to get married, but also to have children, because children are expensive. In addition, as soon as a woman becomes pregnant, she is dismissed from work, and whether she will have the opportunity to return is not known.
Modern Japanese women are far less submissive than Europeans are used to, but they are forced to live “according to the rules”, because the family is built on general finance. Attitude to divorce in the country is negative, but their number is still increasing.
The sexual life of the Japanese is a double standard. On the one hand, restraint in the expression of conjugal love and condemnation of sex before the wedding, and on the other – a lot of illegitimate children.
At the same time, the sex industry in the country is extremely developed: all kinds of pornographic products, magazines, erotic novels, anime and manga are available. Despite the fact that prostitution is prosecuted by law, there are corresponding quarters where time single and married men spend time.
Often physical love in Japanese families living in cramped apartments with practically no walls is impossible. It is accepted that the husband and wife periodically go on dates to “love hotels”.
These institutions have a fully automated system for accepting payment and issuing keys from the rooms, but all the same, a woman who comes to such a place tends to remain unrecognized and inconspicuous, even if she has a date with her husband.
The birth of a child is a great happiness.The Japanese kid sleeps on his bed next to his mother, on demand she takes him in his arms and entertains until he gets bored. Parents do not shout at children, and even more so, do not punish them with a strap. Children are taught that bad deeds will cause ridicule of others.
A sense of shame leads to awareness of guilt. Chad is the center of the family and the “house deity.” Despite the fact that in 20 years the Japanese becomes an adult, parents morally and financially take care of him endlessly. Children, as a rule, love and respect parents, helping them in old age.
In the old days, a child was considered a person only after certain rituals were performed. If the parents could not feed the baby, they killed him. This was not considered a crime and was called “kaesu”, literally “return.” The spirit of the child went to the other world, and parents made a doll “kokezu” and put it on the home altar.
Today, attitudes toward children are different, but rituals are compulsory. On the seventh day after birth, the child receives a name in which the signs of spelling from the names of ancestors are reflected. This rite of “nadzuke-no-iwai” is the naming.
The choice of a name is a serious event, they use the services of fortune tellers, because they believe in the connection of name and destiny. Sometimes a Japanese has two names – a home one – “emai”, and a present received after adulthood.
Important ceremonial holidays “Sitigosan” children celebrate in 3, 5, 7 years – odd numbers are considered happy, allowing to ask the gods for mercy to the child.
There are many divorces among older couples in Japan: retirement women get a decent allowance, and prefer to live away from an old and grouchy spouse. Life expectancy in Japan is one of the highest – men live to 77, women to 84 years.
Due to the fact that the reproduction of the nation is declining, Japan is gradually turning into a country of “empty cradle”. Will it happen that the Japanese will completely disappear?