Dating customs in japan
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.Marriage between a Japanese and non-Japanese person was not officially permitted until 14 March 1873, a date now commemorated as White Day.Marriage with a foreigner required the Japanese national to surrender his or her social standing.Aristocratic wives could remain in their fathers' house, and the husband would recognize paternity with the formal presentation of a gift.The forms of Heian courtship, as well as the pitfalls of amorous intrigue, are well represented in the literature of the period, especially The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, The Sarashina Diary, The Pillow Book, and The Tale of Genji.During the Meiji period, upper class and samurai customs of arranged marriage steadily replaced the unions of choice and mutual attraction that rural commoners had once enjoyed.
Outcast communities such as the Burakumin could not marry outside of their caste, and marriage discrimination continued even after an 1871 edict abolished the caste system, well into the twentieth century.
The purposes of marriage in the medieval and Edo periods was to form alliances between families, to relieve the family of its female dependents, to perpetuate the family line, and, especially for the lower classes, to add new members to the family's workforce.