Japan: Social Customs

Japan: Social Customs

The information provided, talks about family
traditions, marriage customs, and education in Japan. I think the way marriages
are setup in Japan are much different than thus of the United States. Family
roles are also very different.

In Japan, it is common for newly wed couples
to live by themselves until their parents get old. Many couples intend
to live with their parents only after spending years all by themselves.

However, if the husband is not in a position to support his parents, which
means most of the time that he is not the first child of the parents, they
don't plan to live with them. With this tendency, the housing industry
is prosperous. Increase of the nuclear family is generating a fashion in
housing, that is Nisetai-jutaku. The word literally means a "house for
two generations". An example of this is: a two-storied house first-floor
for older people, second-floor for younger people, one kitchen, one toilet,
and sometimes one bathroom.

Japanese people love to have a party in

Western style, and a Wedding party is of no exception. Almost all wedding
halls have a miniature of a Japanese shrine inside, to have a new couple
vow their marriage to the Japanese God, as well as many rooms to celebrate
their wedding in Western style after the vow. A bride wears a pure-white

Japanese Kimono (Shiro-muku) in front of the God at first. Then she changes
it to a colorful Kimono at the beginning of the wedding party, then again
to a beautiful Western-style in the middle of the party and finally to
a pure-white wedding dress (Western-style). Changing clothes in the middle
of the party is called oiro-naoshi.

However, recently some people prefer the
tendency of simplification, so they choose the way in simple styles, sometimes
without oiro-naoshi or even without the party itself. Of course, there
also exist people who love to have their wedding party even in a bigger
way.

Japan's school-age children attend school
regularly. Attendance is required through the lower level of secondary
school. Children begin nursery school when they are about three. At six,
they begin elementary school at twelve, middle school. Any student who
has completed middle school may enroll in high school, which offers either
a technical or a college preparatory course of instruction.

Japanese students, especially those who
plan to attend college, take entrance examinations in order to qualify
for the best middle schools. Severe study at one of the top schools helps
the student prepare for the extremely difficult college entrance examinations.

If a high school senior fails the entrance examination for the university
of his choice, he may study furiously at a special cram school during the
following year.

Despite the examination system, a high
percentage of Japanese youth attend colleges, either junior colleges or
four-year universities.