Japanese dating rules
Parents sometimes staged an arranged marriage to legitimize a "love match," but many others resulted in separation and sometimes suicide. A proposal by Baron Hozumi, who had studied abroad, that the absence of love be made a grounds for divorce failed to pass during debates on the Meiji Civil Code of 1898.
Marriage, like other social institutions of this period, emphasized the subordinate inferiority of women to men.
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.
Marriages were duly arranged by the head of the household, who represented it publicly and was legally responsible for its members, and any preference by either principal in a marital arrangement was considered improper.
Property was regarded to belong to the ie rather than to individuals, and inheritance was strictly agnatic primogeniture.
A woman (女) married the household (家) of her husband, hence the logograms for yome Marriage was restricted to households of equal social standing (分限), which made selection a crucial, painstaking process.
Although Confucian ethics encouraged people to marry outside their own group, limiting the search to a local community remained the easiest way to ensure an honorable match.
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.Customs once exclusive to a small aristocracy gained mass popularity as the population became increasingly urbanized.The Heian period of Japanese history marked the culmination of its classical era, when the vast imperial court established itself and its culture in Heian-kyō (modern Kyoto).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.
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The institution of marriage in Japan has changed radically over the last millennium.