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The Shintoist wedding ceremony in Japan: an invented tradition

The Shintoist wedding ceremony in Japan: an invented tradition The Shintoist wedding ceremony in Japan is a typical invented tradition. It began in the 20th century and, in its early years, it seemed to the Japanese a phenomenon of modernization and the anti-traditional. The truly traditional Japanese wedding ceremony took a long time and involved many steps of complicated rituals, involved high expense to both families, and often finished in a vulgar or unsophisticated manner. However, the invented ceremony involved none of these things. It was short and simple, economical and solemn. The intentions of its inventors were modernistic and nationalistic, but the ceremony was accepted because of its convenience. As long as it seemed new and anti-traditional, it was supported by the urban salaried workers and government officials, including military officers, who were the constructors of modern Japan but who hadn't changed the traditional wedding ceremony. The development of the Shintoist wedding ceremony came after the Second World War. High economic growth changed the industrial structure, many people moved from farming areas to the big cities to become salaried workers. The organizations and networks which had maintained local traditional wedding ceremonies fragmented, and the Shintoist ceremony together with the bridal industry took their place. Then the popularity encouraged by the bridal industry, plus the lack of choice, made the Shintoist ceremony a real tradition. At the same time, the Japanese style of wedding reception, newly put together and advertised by the industry, became another tradition. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Media, Culture & Society SAGE

The Shintoist wedding ceremony in Japan: an invented tradition

Media, Culture & Society , Volume 21 (2): 10 – Mar 1, 1999

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0163-4437
eISSN
1460-3675
DOI
10.1177/016344399021002004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Shintoist wedding ceremony in Japan is a typical invented tradition. It began in the 20th century and, in its early years, it seemed to the Japanese a phenomenon of modernization and the anti-traditional. The truly traditional Japanese wedding ceremony took a long time and involved many steps of complicated rituals, involved high expense to both families, and often finished in a vulgar or unsophisticated manner. However, the invented ceremony involved none of these things. It was short and simple, economical and solemn. The intentions of its inventors were modernistic and nationalistic, but the ceremony was accepted because of its convenience. As long as it seemed new and anti-traditional, it was supported by the urban salaried workers and government officials, including military officers, who were the constructors of modern Japan but who hadn't changed the traditional wedding ceremony. The development of the Shintoist wedding ceremony came after the Second World War. High economic growth changed the industrial structure, many people moved from farming areas to the big cities to become salaried workers. The organizations and networks which had maintained local traditional wedding ceremonies fragmented, and the Shintoist ceremony together with the bridal industry took their place. Then the popularity encouraged by the bridal industry, plus the lack of choice, made the Shintoist ceremony a real tradition. At the same time, the Japanese style of wedding reception, newly put together and advertised by the industry, became another tradition.

Journal

Media, Culture & SocietySAGE

Published: Mar 1, 1999

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