Heian Wedding Ceremonies?

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Heian Wedding Ceremonies?

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:03 pm

AnnaMayBelle

I've been working on a writing project and before I start, I need some information. I'm able to find plenty of accounts of what Heian marriages were like, as far as living arrangements, and so on. What I can't find, is information on the actual act of getting married. Were legal records involved? Was there some form of ceremony, and was it held by a government official or a religious figure? Was there a particular symbolic act that signified, "Okay, now you're married." like the sharing of sake in modern Shintoism, or the kiss in a Christian wedding?

Any information at all would be appreciated. :)

EDIT: I finally found my copy of "The World of the Shining Prince, Court Life In Ancient Japan" (which is an EXCELLENT book by the way), and found its section on marriage. I think I have all the information I need now. Thanks, and sorry to have troubled you. :)

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Re: Heian Wedding Ceremonies?

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:04 pm

SuperGrouper

Heian-era wedding dress: http://www.iz2.or.jp/fukushoku/f_disp.p ... no=0000035

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Re: Heian Wedding Ceremonies?

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:05 pm

buyoka

It is a very good book. Ivan Morris was a well-known Japanese scholar (he wasn't Japanese -- he studied Japanese language and culture).

You can pick up the cheapest copy from Barnes & Noble out of print for $1.99.

There is also a limited preview in Google Books, but probably if you log in, you can view more
http://books.google.com/books?id=ni05jo ... ce#PPP1,M1

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Re: Heian Wedding Ceremonies?

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:05 pm

AyakoNoChou

I don't know about arranged weddings but...

Generally it was a 3 night thing.

Man goes over to woman's house, has sex with her, leaves before dawn. He writes her a Morning-After poem and sends it. It gets to her early!!!

Then she writes back to him.

He comes back that night, they have sex again. Again he leaves before the dawn and writes a poem.

He comes back again this night (3rd night) and has sex with her and stays with her into the morning because they're now married. Somewhere in there is rice cakes for this night.

As others said, The World of the Shining Prince is a very good resource for this.

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Re: Heian Wedding Ceremonies?

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:05 pm

Ems

When I was taking my kogo class, my professor described pretty much the same thing as a requirement for getting hitched. If a guy comes to "visit" you during the night for three nights in a row and he stays with you on the morning after the third night, then you're married. I wonder how many guys came to visit for the first two nights but were no where to be found on the third.

It's kind of funny because with all this stuff going on in the dark, very often the man and the woman couldn't get a good look at one another until the morning they were married. A guy could sleep with the daughter of an extremely high-ranking official and think he's got an awesome arrangement, until he wakes up with her and finds out she's horrendously ugly. :lol: (Or vice-versa!)

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Re: Heian Wedding Ceremonies?

Post by IG Team » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:06 pm

Red Robin

Well, as I understand it, in the Heian period, people hated their bodies anyway, beauty was declared through 'good taste' instead (well-arranged layers of clothing, good poetry, good presentation of the poetry, a lot of sensitivity, etc)... as a result, I doubt ugliness would have been too much of a problem - as long as the person had 'good taste' in abundance. I know the Tale of Genji had that one chapter about the ugly woman (the Safflower Princess? She had a long nose, anyway)... but I think the problem was that she had other issues. The nose was unfortunate, but it was her entire package that was at issue, rather than solely the nose.

Does anyone know anything about the marriage customs of the Sengoku part of the Muromachi period? I know that weddings began to transform from "night-time" weddings to day-based weddings in the Edo period, but I'm not entirely certain of what the late-fifteenth and sixteenth century traditions were.

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