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Sakura: 第二十回 日本文化レッスンでございます。さくらです。
Yoshi: よしです。
Peter: Peter here. Japanese culture class #20. As always, brought to you by Erklaren, the translation and interpretation specialists. All right, we have Sakura san, Yoshi san in the studio. Yeah Sakura san, whenever you are here, I always use the honorific suffix san.
Sakura: 素晴らしい。 That’s good.
Peter: Ah the looks.
Sakura: Ha ha ha!
Peter: Yes we had many requests for video in the studio, kind of film us…
Sakura: 本当?
Peter: And film the faces you make.
Sakura: Oh oh! まずいなぁ。 that’s not good.
Peter: So we are going to do that one day because you should see the looks Yoshi and I get. Oh sorry, Yoshi san.
Sakura: よしさんね。

Lesson focus

Peter: Okay today we have a great topic. One I think everybody around the world can relate with. Sakura san, what are we going to talk about today?
Sakura: Getting married.
Peter: Okay now, how do we say that in Japanese?
Sakura: 結婚
Peter: Yes now what we are going to do is talk a little bit about the courting process, a little bit about engagement, a little bit about the marriage ceremony and a lot about – what we call that Sakura san?
Sakura: Umm?
Peter: When everybody gathers and we have a party.
Sakura: え、二次会?
Peter: No before that?
Sakura: You know it…
Peter: We know it!
Sakura: え、披露宴?披露宴。sorry sorry...
Peter: We know it.
Sakura: I skipped one.
Peter: Sakura is thinking about the after party but we want to talk about…
Sakura: あ、そうだった。あ、披露宴。
Peter: The wedding reception.
Sakura: Reception yeah.
Peter: And there is a lot that’s going to be in this lesson and a lot of research went into this lesson. Now in the studio, we have two people who haven’t married and one who is looking for some advice.
Yoshi: That’s me.
Peter: Yes. So yes and I know that we just broke a bunch of hearts out there. Yes Sakura san is married.
Sakura: I’ve already said that in a lesson.
Yoshi: Yeah.
Sakura: Everybody knows.
Peter: But I think people are lying to themselves kind of denying it. No!
Sakura: I knew that.
Peter: I think some people were pretending that it wasn’t true. They misheard, they misinterpreted. Now Sakura san, let’s go back a bit a couple of generations back. In the past and still today, there is this custom where two people are introduced with the intention of marriage. It’s not a contract or anything like this. They are introduced and it’s up to them in the end who will be married if who they chose to marry but what is this called?
Sakura: お見合い
Peter: Okay tell us some more about this.
Sakura: お見合い in old days, it was usually introducing man and woman between like two families.
Peter: I see.
Sakura: And there was usually a sort of go between like a old lady who is you know, who is good at these things like matchmaking and you know, she has all these ideas about matchmaking ね。and first usually you exchange photographs and the なんだ? personal history ていうか.
Peter: Kind of like a description.
Sakura: Yes, yes.
Peter: A resume.
Sakura: Yes and you decide whether to meet the other person that they decide by looking at the picture and the description.
Peter: Now who decides? The person to be married or the parents?
Sakura: The person to be married.
Peter: Okay.
Sakura: Yeah the parents like kind of encourage them to or persuade them to meet, yeah and then if they decide to meet, they meet at the restaurant or somewhere.
Peter: Just the two of them?
Sakura: No with somebody else, maybe the parents and maybe that old lady is there too and they have like conversation and the younger two are left by themselves afterwards to you know, to date and when they go home, they decide on whether to meet again and they tell the other person through that lady or parents or whoever introduced.
Peter: All right, I see. All right, now let’s talk about nowadays. Maybe we should shift over to Yoshi san?
Sakura: Ah yes.
Peter: How about now-a-days? Why don’t we start with this question? Do they still have – what was it one more time Sakura san?
Sakura: お見合い
Peter: Do they still have this practice?
Yoshi: It’s not so common anymore but I think there is still a few お見合い going on.
Peter: Okay.
Yoshi: But today everyone is into the real…
Peter: The real!
Yoshi: The real deal, I don’t know how to call it. You know people meet people they like and they get married falling in love or you know.
Peter: What a romantic Yoshi san! It’s nice to see this side of you. Okay now one unique thing I noticed among my friends was that my guy friends would have a girlfriend and maybe they were dating two years, three years but some of them never introduce the girl to the parents and I asked, how come she’s never met the family and on more than one occasion, it was explained to me that unless you have the intent of marriage, you don’t usually introduce the boyfriend or girlfriend to the family. Now this isn’t always the case but why don’t we get Sakura san and Yoshi san’s opinion about this. Sakura san, can you tell us something about this?
Sakura: Umm I understand. I know what you mean but like it really depends on the family and the person but like when they are students is that the story is different right….
Peter: Yeah.
Sakura: Like they can meet the other person’s family and like it’s not marriage yet っていうか They don’t think about marriage yet but then if you get older like you seriously start thinking about getting married, then introducing to your parents or your family becomes a little bit more – there is implication ていうか...
Peter: Implication.
Sakura: Yeah I think yeah.
Peter: Very well explained. It’s very true what you say. I had to 家庭教師 some young kids and Sakura san, can you explain 家庭教師?
Sakura: It’s tutor.
Peter: Yes.
Sakura: You go to the child home and you teach…
Peter: Yeah.
Sakura: For like couple of hours, right?
Peter: Exactly and one of the students was a high school girl and she actually brought her boyfriend home to eat with the family. So now I can understand when you are young, it’s kind of like you know, it’s no serious implications.
Sakura: Right.
Peter: You cleared up years of mystery in my mind, Sakura san. Thank you very much.
Sakura: いやいやいや。
Peter: Yoshi san, any take on this?
Yoshi: はい。 I guess marriage is, it’s still a big deal. So once you know, you get older like Sakura san said, I mean you know you have a real job and everyone is like expecting you to get married, maybe your parents are like concerned about your marriage and you know, people are still meeting different people but like once you bring them home, then it becomes a big deal kind of I think for some people.
Sakura: And the family’s expectations you know, they get all excited. Oh so, you are going to marry him like…he may get excited.
Peter: It seems like you are talking from experience the way you said this now.
Sakura: Yeah, yeah, yeah….
Peter: Now I want to get back to something Yoshi had pointed out. Now Yoshi pointed out that marriage is still a big deal in Japan. Now when I first came to Japan, it kind of shocks me when I first heard this expression Christmas Cake.
Sakura: ん?何?
Peter: Now yeah Sakura is a little puzzled. Yoshi can you tell us – give us the Japanese for this?
Peter: Now Yoshi san, what does this Christmas Cake mean?
Yoshi: So after you are – if you were a woman and after becoming 24 years old and 25 years old, then after that age which mean the Christmas Eve and the Christmas Day…
Sakura: Yeah, yeah…
Yoshi: Then those cakes are hard to sell.
Sakura: Ah….
Peter: Yes…
Yoshi: The expression… It’s going to be a good expression..
Sakura: ひどいねぇ。
Peter: That a girl over – that a woman over 25.
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: It may be hard to marry.
Sakura: That is really - 信じられない!
Peter: You know about this?
Sakura: No actually no. そうなの?
Peter: Yeah I was quite shocked when I heard about this because when I first came, I was speaking English…
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: And although lady referred to another lady as Christmas cake and I couldn’t understand, why would you be Christmas Cake and it was explained to me. I still didn’t really understand it at that time but then Yoshi san explained it in Greek to tell…the other day, yes.
Sakura: え~。I didn’t know. 本当?わぁ…やだなぁ。 But now-a-days and Japanese women are getting married later and later.
Peter: Yeah.
Sakura: I think like average is in the second half of the twenties I think.
Peter: Last time we checked, it was 27, between 27 and 28.
Sakura: Yeah and they are like eager to study, eager to work. You know, they have more freedom now-a-days.
Peter: Yeah.
Sakura: Yeah. So yeah, you know the age is getting higher and higher.
Peter: Yeah we came to the conclusion that this expression is a bit old. It was kind of maybe from generation before.
Sakura: Yeah generation before, I guess it was like that. So maybe after like 24, 25 many お見合い photographs will come.
Peter: Yeah I think yeah, from what I understand, お見合い was still quite popular for the last generation.
Sakura: Yes but nowadays, still some. I have received some お見合い写真.
Peter: Really?
Sakura: Because my parents are really worried about you know me not getting married. Yeah…
Peter: I can’t believe that.
Sakura: I have – I did お見合い once.
Peter: Really?
Sakura: Yeah. You know I just wanted to find out what it was like.
Peter: How did it go?
Sakura: Umm well it wasn’t hard like you know, you don’t know that person and you have to spend many hours with that person for the rest of the day and that was you know, interesting but a party or something would be better like if there is many people you know.
Peter: Kind of like お見合い party where you could…
Sakura: Yeah, yeah, yeah お見合い party.
Peter: Mingle and kind of meet a bunch. Why don’t we start that business? That’s not a bad idea.
Sakura: Yes. So nowadays, お見合い is you know, not so popular but when you get to certain age, you will start getting those photographs like if you are a woman, I think.
Peter: So if I want to just like kind of bring you the newspaper and on top a picture, oh here you go and…
Sakura: Yeah but it’s a more casual style ていうか It’s not formal お見合い but just you know, just introducing…
Peter: I will tell you Sakura san, that guy who you met on the お見合い probably talks about that day as the best day of his life. What a lucky guy to walk in and have you there.
Sakura: Let’s get on to another topic.
Peter: What! You have to learn how to take a compliment!
Sakura: No I hate it.
Peter: All right. So we will badge you a bit more.
Sakura: Okay お願いします。 yeah.
Peter: Anyway okay, as you said. All right now, you get me all flustered. Yoshi, take over.
Sakura: よし、お願い…Yoshi san お願いします。
Yoshi: I forgot to tell you like this new style of people getting married like you know, falling in love and getting married. It’s called 恋愛結婚.
Sakura: Ah!
Peter: And what’s the translation on this?
Yoshi: Love marriage, I guess.
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: Love marriage. It’s interesting that there will be a word for it.
Sakura: Yeah そうだよね。恋愛結婚。お見合い結婚。 yeah.
Yoshi: So those two terms are like kind of opposite meaning.
Peter: And Yoshi san, you are holding out on us. I believe there is one more type. What is it? Go on and give it to us.
Yoshi: Do you want me to say it? 出来ちゃった結婚.
Peter: Sakura san, like how can we explain this one?
Sakura: It’s when you have a baby.
Peter: Yeah.
Sakura: Before you get married and then you get married.
Peter: Yeah so well, I think the baby is the reason for the marriage.
Sakura: うん。そうだね。 yeah.
Peter: So because you conceive the baby, you are getting married.
Sakura: Umm…
Peter: So three types.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: That we are aware of.
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: It’s called unexpected marriage.
Sakura: なるほど。 Yeah but we….
Peter: Or maybe…
Sakura: It’s increasing, isn’t it and it’s becoming more frequent. I don’t know.
Peter: All right. We are going to change this topic.
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: One more. In English, we have shotgun wedding.
Sakura: Hmm..
Peter: And it means a very quick wedding and I believe it comes from the fact that if two unmarried people were caught together, then the father would get a shotgun and make the man marry the girl.
Sakura: Ah…
Peter: Hence shotgun wedding.
Sakura: なるほどね。
Peter: He has the gun to his back while they get married. Okay so all this talk about getting married and now we talked about the boyfriends, girlfriends. Now let’s talk about the big question, proposing. Now how do we say that in Japanese?
Sakura: プロポーズ
Peter: So Sakura san, we all know the standard Hollywood way. Brush off your pants, down on one knee, take the ring out, look up and say. Again, what a face! I am not actually doing it. I am just telling you how it’s done.
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: In the movies. And I don’t – you know, some people do but like its pretty common question when someone gets married. Ah did he get down on one knee?
Sakura: え~。
Peter: Well what’s going on in Japan? Is there a certain way or is there popular method or?
Sakura: よしさん、どうですか?
Yoshi: ドラマを見る限りでは・・・
Peter: Wait! What is it? I don’t want to speak in English. He gets nervous going around these questions.
Sakura: そお?
Peter: Why were you just not speaking Japanese?
Sakura: I didn’t realize.
Peter: Right.
Yoshi: I saw a skit from you know dramas. Some Japanese male like propose in dramatic ways but I think different people have…
Peter: Can we have an example? Some of your friends, how did they do it? What a look you have! We really need to get a camera in the studio because Yoshi’s face is just blank.
Sakura: Yeah, yeah. We don’t really kneel down right in Japan?
Yoshi: No.
Sakura: だよね。But ring is – it can be key item ていうかね。
Yoshi: Yeah.
Sakura: Yeah. Like if you say, he gave me the ring, then, you would know.
Peter: Yeah.
Sakura: Yeah. So like maybe you are hiding the ring and…
Peter: Putting in the soup or..
Sakura: 僕と結婚してもらえますか?
Peter: What a nice way!
Sakura: Yeah. Will you marry me? Simple ね。 and then you hold out your ring, I don’t know. Maybe we don’t do that.
Peter: So there is no kind of set way?
Sakura: Umm…
Peter: I got more questions I’d like to ask. What about women proposing to men? It happens – you know, it’s starting to I guess increase in the US and I imagine other countries too or the girl would bring up the topic.
Sakura: Yes it’s becoming more common to bring up the topic. Yeah but プロポーズ – umm they won’t propose. They will suggest とか hint とか yeah.
Peter: I have an example for you. I know a friend and his girlfriend said, so when do you want to go shopping for rings? So while she didn’t really come out and say will you marry me, it was when am I getting my ring. Kind of propose, I don’t know.
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: Does that make any sense?
Sakura: Yeah. Umm…
Peter: So Japan has undergone a lot of changing.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Now Sakura san, you have a lot of friends. So now, what were some of the stories behind their husbands proposing to them?
Sakura: My friend got the ring catalogue.
Peter: Ah!
Sakura: He didn’t say it clearly but first he gave her a catalogue.
Peter: Smart move.
Sakura: Umm I don’t know like it depends on people I guess like how you would like that. Yeah but it was kind of nice.
Peter: You don’t seem like you like that?
Sakura: No I would, I would but like….
Peter: Covering yourself.
Sakura: Hmm.
Peter: Yoshi san?
Yoshi: One of my good friends, he and his girlfriend took a trip to Hokkaido. They went on a hill where they could see all the night view of 函館 or…
Sakura: Yes very famous.
Yoshi: Yeah. Then he took out his ring and I think he proposed hr.
Sakura: Wow! Hah romantic.
Peter: Romantic. Making us look bad here.
Yoshi: But on the other hand, my – one of my sisters when she got married, my brother-in-law was hiding the ring in the dashboard of his car. Like getting ready to propose her.
Sakura: Yeah.
Yoshi: But before he proposed her, my sister accidentally opened the dashboard like when they went on a drive.
Sakura: Hmm….
Yoshi: So they both….
Peter: Are you cheating on me?
Sakura: そっかぁ。
Peter: But I don’t know what really happened to them.
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: So kind of wide open in various ways. All right, well we’d planned to cover a lot more today but the first half took a lot longer than we had anticipated. Now the reason we are on this topic is a very good friend of mine recently got married.
Sakura: Umm…
Peter: And it was a great wedding.
Sakura: おめでとうございます。
Yoshi: おめでとうございます。
Peter: That’s another great point. What do you say to someone when they get married.
Sakura: おめでとう or おめでとうございます。
Peter: And you can even add the word for marriage in there.
Sakura: ご結婚、おめでとうございます。 or friends だったら、結婚おめでとう。
Peter: So what we are going to do is we are going to come back and cover this more. We have so much more to cover. The ceremony, the reception and what happened afterward?
Sakura: 二次会?
Peter: What a face! All right we are getting the video in here because this is too good to miss.
Sakura: I couldn’t read your mind.


Peter: It’s probably better that way. Just a one sign you are slipping Sakura. All right, that’s going to do it for today.
Sakura: またね。
Yoshi: またね。


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