Culture

June bride/水無月の花嫁

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Shiromuku with Wata-boushi

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日本語は英語の下にあります。
Is being a June bride popular in your country?
After Japan has accepted western cultures, it has been popular in Japan.
June is the start of the rainy season though.

Now, we’ll share the Japanese traditional style of wedding ceremony, Shinto style.

Shinto style wedding held at Shinto shrine

The Shinto style wedding is held at Shinto shrines.
There are some Shinto altars situated in the hotels where the couples have the wedding reception.
A Shinto priest conducts the wedding ceremony.
Only family members are allowed to attend it.
The friends can join a reception party.

The bride wears a white gown called ”Shiromuku”.
All her accessories including footwear should be white. 

The Shiromuku is the most sophisticated kimono.
It was said that Japanese people started wearing it since the Muromachi period (between the mid 14th and the late16th centuries).

White is considered a sacred color.
So, Shinto priests who serve the Kami wear white clothes.
It has become the perfect cloth to drive away evil spirits and while being part of the sacred wedding ceremony.

Kami: this is the Japanese term for the Shinto deities. According to Shinto belief, Kami exists everywhere, such as mountains, rocks, water, fire, a grain of rice and so on.

The color white  also symbolizes purity and rectitude.
It’s interesting to note that each family has its own color or style in terms of their lifestyle. 
In the old days, people believed that the bride should be obedient and follow the groom’s family’s color or rules.
In general, white cloth can be dyed in any color.
So, the bride expresses that she is ready to be dyed  with the color of the groom’s family by wearing the white cloth, the Shiromuku. 

And then, there are two types of white hood for the bride, “Wata-boushi” and “Tsuno-kakushi“(see the photo above).
Speaking of Wata-boushi, it implies that the bride should not expose her face except for the groom.
On the other hand, Tsuno-kakushi implies that the bride should hide her horns and obey the groom’s family manners.
Women seem to have horns, don’t they? 

Actually, the horns are metaphors of women’s jealousy and anger. Tsuno-kakushi warns the bride not to have envy but be modest with the groom ‘s family.

Believe it or not, the bride wears ornamental hairpins made of tortoiseshell under the Wata-boushi.
It’s a kind of Japanese people’s formality or style of luxury.
Wearing this style means that
you are mindful of beauty even though it’s hidden from outside.

The bride’s hair style is called “Bunkin-Takashimada“.
It was originally the hairstyle of the maidens from the samurai families during the Edo period (from the 17th to the mid 19th centuries).
Their topknots were tied at a higher position than those of married women.
It expresses youth and elegance.
Although a bride used to tie up her own hair in the past, now a bride wears a special wig these days.

On the other hand, the groom wears a kimono and trousers.
The Kimino is printed with his family crest on prominent locations (back, chest and sleeves).
The set of clothes is called “Montsuki-Hatori-Hakama”.

Montsuki-Hatori-Hakama and Shiromuku with Tsuno-kakushi

White socks called “Tabi” and a white folded fan are necessary for both the bride and groom.
Because the white folded fan makes a ritual/sacred boundary in order to show respect to others.
Also it means I will not fight or I have no weapon today.
It is put around one’s left waist instead of the sword.

Uchikake

When the bridal couple show up at the reception party, the bride usually change her white gown to the colorful ones called “Uchikake”. 
Changing kimono doesn’t take time.
The white gown and tortoiseshell hairpins are replaced by colorful ones.
Auspicious figures like cranes are embroidered on the kimono and plain colorful hairpins instead of the tortoiseshell are used.
As for the groom, he doesn’t need to change his attire for the reception party. 

You may encounter a wedding ceremony when you visit Shinto shrines on the lucky days like “Taian” or “Tomobiki” of Rokuyo, the 6-day calendar.

Share your own experiences in the comments section below!

【Translation for language learners of either English or Japanese】/英語・日本語学習者向け翻訳 えいご ・  にほんごがくしゅうしゃむ  ほんやく

水無月の花嫁は人気でしょうか。
日本では西洋文化を受け入れるようになって以降、人気です。
6月は、日本では梅雨ですけれども。

では、日本の伝統的な結婚様式ー神前結婚ーを紹介しましょう。

神前結婚は、神社で執り行われます。
中には結婚披露宴が行われるホテルに鎮座する神社もあります。
神主が結婚式を執り行います。
家族だけが式に参加できます。
友達は披露宴から参加となります。

花嫁は白無垢と呼ばれる白い着物を着ます。
白無垢は、履物に至るまですべて白で整えます。

白無垢は、着物の中で最も格調が高い衣装です。
室町時代(14世紀中頃から16世紀後半)から着始めたと言われています。

神様にお仕えする神官が白い衣装を着ているように、白は神聖な色と考えられています。
邪気を払い神聖な儀式に臨むための最良な衣装となったのです。

白はまた「純粋」、「清廉潔白」を象徴しています。
面白いことに、日本ではそれぞれの家独自の伝統や習慣(家風)があります。
昔は、花嫁は従順で花婿の家風に染まるものだと考えられていました。
一般的に、白生地はどんな色にも染まります。
白無垢には「嫁ぎ先のどんな家風にも染まります」という念いが込められています。

それから、綿帽子と角隠しと呼ばれる二種類の白い被り物があります。
綿帽子は、旦那様になる人意外に顔を見せないようにするという意味があります。
一方角隠しは、角を隠し、その家の従順に従うという意味があります。
女性には角があるみたいですね。


実は、角は女性の嫉妬や怒りを象徴しています。
角隠しは、花嫁が嫁ぎ先で嫉妬することなく、奥ゆかしくという戒めです。

なんと、花嫁は綿帽子の下に鼈甲でできた簪をしています。
それが外から見えないところの美まで気を使う、ある種日本人の拘りや贅沢でもあります。

花嫁の髪型を「文金高島田」といいます。
これは江戸時代の武家の未婚女性の髪型で、髷がやや高くなっており、若さと優雅さを強調しています。
昔は自分の髪で結っていましたが、今日では鬘を使用します。

一方、新郎は長着と袴を着ます。
長着には家紋がついています(背紋-背中心と抱紋-両胸、袖紋-両袖後ろ)。
この一式を”紋付羽織袴”と呼びます。

足袋と呼ぶ白い靴下と白扇は花嫁花婿両方にとって必須です。
なぜなら白扇は、他者に敬意を表すための結界を作るからです。
「今日は戦いませんし、武器も持っていません」という意味もあります。
刀の代わりに左の脇腹にさします。

新郎新婦が披露宴会場に登場する時、花嫁は普通白無垢から打掛と呼ばれる色鮮やかな着物にお色直しします。
白無垢と鼈甲簪をカラフルなものに変えるだけなので、それほど時間はかかりません。
一般的に、鶴のような吉祥文様が刺繍されています。
花婿は披露宴の時に衣装を変えません。

六曜の大安・友引に当たる日に神社へ行くと、結婚式に遭遇するかもしれませんよ。

あなたの体験談をコメント欄にシェアして下さいね!

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Miki

Good day, I am the founder of Aurora Trip Nippon. Also, I am a Certified National Guide, Certified Tour Conductor, Certified General Travel Service Supervisor, as well as a Kimono Consultant.
I love Japan. So, you could ask us anything about Japan.

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  1. AvatarStella says:

    I like both the video and the article. Your voice not only clear but also very pleasant to hear. Here, brides still wear the traditional white wedding gown. Some change their costume for the reception, but more often than not, they wear the same. Thank you for this very informative article.

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    • MikiMiki says:

      Thank you for leaving your comment and sharing your practice, Stella san ^^/
      That’s nice to hear that you wear the traditional white wedding gown.
      It must be beautiful!

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