Andrew’s world in Japan

Clipboarder.2016.03.14-005Andrew Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring thcreative process & connecting with other creative people.




Matrimonial Celebration

Even the most basic of societies celebrate the continuation of their culture. Whether a nomadic or static society, rites honoring and confi rming the special bond between the formal coupling of man and woman remain important to this day. Marriage is still considered a special once in a lifetime experience. The celebration more or less seems relatively standardized in urban environments, but cultures across earth retain their unique ways of confi rming this act. Japanese culture, even in the hypermegalopolis’ and the infl uential impact of many Western ideals, retains traditional aspects of this celebration.

By-passing the whole engagement part, because that in itself is not really a celebration, not to mention I was not witness to this, let’s jump straight into the deep end. A Japanese wedding is usually an all day event. It is possible that the ceremony will be held at a Christian church, but more often at a shrine with a Shinto priest presiding. Sometimes, there may be two ceremonies, one at each. Fashion or tradition tends to dictate, not necessarily a particular faith.


Ultra traditional wedding garb is a white wedding kimono called “uchikake” and the groom is usually wearing black with an embroidered family symbol. What my friends Eric and Ai wore was quite similar although her kimono was colorful. The reception was the celebration I actually experienced. Defi nitely one of the fi nest affairs I have had the pleasure to attend. Held in a large banquet hall in Osaka, we were quite a crowd. Many of our friends came from various parts of Japan, California and even Malaysia. Seeing as they are an international couple, the groom American and bride Japanese, there was a fair bit more mixing of traditions. Shooting the garter at the bachelors tossing bouquet to bachelorettes is Western. Speeches, the menu, outfi ts and defi nitely language was more traditional and Japanese.

That the reception went on for several hours was not a major concern for me. I hardly noticed. What almost caught me off guard was the ‘gift.’ Prior to entry into the ballroom we delivered our gift of cash money. Almost all Japanese functions, whether formal or informal require one to have cash money prepared. Celebrations are expensive world wide, so do not show up empty handed. Following the intermission where the couple fl oated out like glowing stars to change and return in modern Western formal fashion. We were then treated to several speechClipboarder.2016.03.14-003es, concerts and abundance of food and drinks. At our table they could not bring beers fast enough to quench our celebratory thirst.

Celebrations went well into the morning. An after party, followed by a sort of change party in our rooms prepared us for some voice annihilating karaoke. Truthfully, I do not really remember how the night ended. Emotions were high and so were all of us. To me, that is what celebrations are all about.