Marriage and Courtship

Marriage is not much different in Japan from the western world. Anime explores marriage and courtship in many ways, but here are a few basic details about the subject that might help viewers understand marriage a little better.


One common topic for discussion in anime is marriage and courtship. Often the discussions are humiliating in nature, usually involving a young woman being interrogated by her inquisitive parents or friends. Some particular examples are in Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, Ranma 1/2, and Maison Ikkoku. In Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, Linna, one of the main characters, goes back to her home in the country. Upon her arrival, the first things she her family greets her with are questions about her love life. Most women in Japan marry by the age of 25, with the average age of marriage being twenty-two. The average age for marriage among men is 25. Although the average age for marriage is rising, there is still some pressure for a woman to be married by the time she is 25. Although it is less significant for a woman to be single, those older than 25 are sometimes referred to as "Christmas Cake" because Christmas cakes are expensive until December 25th at which point their prices plummet for quick sale.

Omiai: Arranged Marriage

Omiai is not the typical arranged marriage. Most arranged marriages are characterized by two people, in some cases complete strangers, whose marriage has been set up by their parents. Omiai, on the other hand, is more of a marriage interview rather than an obligatory union. The two families involved arrange a meeting for potential couple and typically meet in an informal nature. The participants can decide after the first meeting whatever might follow. About 10%-20% of Japanese marriages are arranged. In Maison Ikkoku, Mrs. Ichinose, a mother living in Maison Ikkoku, visits Kyoko the house manager and talks with her about her love life. Eventually the old woman pulls out a portfolio of young unmarried men for whom she is matchmaking.

Marriage Ceremonies

In present day Japan, the majority of marriages are basically Christian style marriages. There are some other types of marriages, but they are not as common. To learn more about the basic details of a Japanese wedding, visit this website.

-Jeff Lee Click to learn more about Jeff

References (

Maison Ikkoku
Ranma 1/2
Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040


In Bubblegum Crisis 2040 Linna's family often asks her about her love life, something she's not too happy about.


If Ranma and Akane really got married, this is what they would be wearing.
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