Japanese weddings

Although they’re becoming rare, some people still have traditional Shinto weddings. Today’s photos are from a wedding at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo. It’s a good place to catch a glimpse of bridal parties, and you have a good chance of seeing one if you’re there on a Sunday afternoon.




Japanese people usually give cash rather than wedding gifts, and the money is given in these ceremonial envelopes.


0 replies
  1. jake
    jake says:

    Actually there were genuine christian weddings in Japan before these so-called traditional weddings. The first of this kind was for the crown prince in 1904 and was modelled on the royal weddings of Europe. Gradually it became more commonplace, but was never common.

  2. St John
    St John says:

    What are you saying Jake? That ‘genuine’ Christian weddings happened before ‘these so-called traditional weddings’? I think you’ll find they had Shinto weddings before 1904..

    • qjphotos
      qjphotos says:

      I was similarly skeptical about his comment, but he wrote me back saying this:

      weddings existed before, but not “shinto” weddings. 90% of shinto was invented in Meiji. Previously wedding ceremonies varied by region and class, but they didnt involve shrines or priests. In fact there were almost no shinto priests before meiji. 7-5-3 was another tradition that was transferred to shrines in Meiji.
      The best book is Splendid monarchy

      Incidentally, in early Meiji when records began Japan had the highest divorce rate in the world. Marriage was a simple process to begin and end.

      I will write more on the invented wedding in a piece I’m writing for JapanVisitor

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