Marriage and the Family in Japan:
History of Marriage and Arranged Marriages in Japan
Marriage has been the term applied to both ceremonial events and legal contracts. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family.” Throughout history, marriage has existed; in some societies in ancient times, it was oftentimes an unbalanced, sometimes even brutal event, and the woman and children were treated as little more than possessions or commodities. Ancient Hebrew law dictated that if a married man died, his brother was to become the widow’s husband, though this was meant positively so as to care for the woman. In Ancient Egypt, women were to have equal rights in marriage, but this notion was not always practiced.
While it is hard to determine
exactly how long marriage has been legally recognized, it would seem that
governments originally took an interest in marriage mainly in order to deal with
legal points of law such as inheritance rights. The notion of marriage as a
sacrament, and not just a contract, can be traced back to St. Paul who, in the
New Testament book of Ephesians, compared the relationship of a husband and wife
to that of Christ and His Church.
History of Arranged Marriage
It is difficult to definitively pinpoint the history of arranged marriages, though it appears to have originated in India. An online article titled The History Behind Arranged Marriages mentions that in ancient India, a form of marriage known as asura viviha, or “marriage by abduction,” was practiced; however, it goes on to say that the custom of arranged marriage as it exists today possibly could have stemmed “primarily … [from] the child marriages of the Delhi Sultanate (1192-1398 AD).” While this is a possibility, it cannot be verified, as the article does not give reference to any sources to substantiate the information; hence, this remains merely a theory—and more than likely an incorrect one, as many sources indicate the existence of arranged marriage before the time of the Delhi Sultanate. At best, certain practices or customs may have their origins in the Delhi Sultanate’s child marriages, or become popular around that time, but nothing is definitively verifiable.
The Population Division of the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which provides population research information, published a dictionary in 1999 of demographic terminology. It defines arranged marriage as a “marriage arranged by relatives or other influentials of the couple to be married, with or without the agreement of the couple.”
Before getting far into the paper, there are two topics that ought to be brought up so as to avoid any misunderstandings, as well as to provide sufficient historical context. One of these is the ie family system, which is important to understanding some of the background of marriage in Japan as well as an overview of attitudes towards women. The other topic is the samurai, which is significant to explain because of the depth to which the values of the samurai class influenced marriage and family as a whole.
The ie Family System
It is necessary, before going deeper into discussion of the history of Japanese marriage, to explain the family system known as ie, which existed for hundreds of years. According to an article by Kurimoto Kazuo in the UNESCO Courier, the traditional form of the Japanese family is designated by the word ie, which symbolizes an original concept “embracing not only the structure of the family but the bonds uniting its members, the family assets, and the activities connected with it.” He also describes the ie as more like a “socioeconomic institution” than a family or community related by blood. Kazou goes on to say that the ie is primarily based on family ties, the most important of which are those with parents and ancestors.
Sumiko Iwao, a professor at a Tokyo university, talks about the ie in her book The Japanese Woman. In an endnote, she discusses the ie in reference to the time of the Meiji Restoration, but the ie was also prevalent in the Tokugawa Period before that time. She explains it:
Under the Meiji civil code which prevailed until the end of World War II, the basic unit of society was the ie, or household. The head of the household, who was as a rule male, exercised unchallengeable authority over the lives of all family members. Women (wives) were seen primarily in terms of their role as bearers of male offspring who would carry on the family line and assume the responsibilities of family head. Women exercised no authority over marriage, divorce, or inheritance. The ie as part of the legal system was abolished in 1947.
A Brief History of the Samurai and the ie
The samurai, knights of feudal Japan, were an aristocratic warrior class whose origins dated back to the 12th century. They were retainers of the daimyo (the feudal barons), and they adhered to the bushido, a code of behavior that essentially valued honor above life. Ancient in origin, it borrowed from Confucianism. This feudal warrior class popularized the ie family system and made it the norm for some six hundred years, up until the Meiji Restoration when both were eradicated. Kurimoto Kazou notes that the ie system is, like bushido, of ancient origin. It dates back to the 11th century, but it was during the second half of the Tokugawa Period that it was officially established, to some extent under the influence of Confucian dogma. After that, the ie structure soon ceased to be common to only the samurai class and became a model for all Japanese families.
History of Marriage in Japan
Over the past several centuries, the legal requirements and personal expectations of marriage in Japan have changed radically. Throughout history, as changes in Japanese social systems and conditions took place, so did transformations in Japanese marital systems transpire; some significant features of Japanese marriages do not seem to have changed all that much, however. An article from the Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan states that, for example, “bride and groom must always be from households of equal social standing.”
The Heian Period
Heian Period (794-1185), which marked the emergence of Japanese court nobility—as well as the feudal period—there was emphasis on marriage between
equals, but it was not accomplished the same way it is today. The Kodansha
Encyclopedia explains that it was “the selection of mates to create
children” that was central, not the marriage itself.
The Kodansha Encyclopedia says that men of importance could have more than one mate, and were not bound at any time to a single mate in monogamous marriage. This is due mainly to the fact that the ie, rooted in Confucian thought, held that women were insignificant, often foolish and should always be subservient to males. The encyclopedia goes on to comment that marriages were endogamous, and it is likely that endogamous marriage was characteristic of all levels of Heian society. Additionally, on all levels, marriages to cousins were frequent.
The Muromachi Period
Perhaps the most significant change, however, was brought about by the rise of the “bushi” warriors in the 13th and 14th centuries (the Muromachi Period). The change from the age of aristocracy to the age of the shoguns (military governors) led to a change from the old practice of “muko-iri” to the new practice of “yome-iri.” To be precise—as explained by Joy Hendry in her book Marriage in Changing Japan—instead of the groom joining the bride’s family (“muko-iri”), the bride would join the groom’s family (“yome-iri”) upon the death of a parent or birth of a child. Even as far back as the Heian Period, it was typical for the Japanese to view marriage as more of a link between two families as opposed to a joining of two individuals—and also as an opportunity for political, economic and social alliances that promoted the interests of families rather than a romantic match between two individuals. This was a practice that extended into the merchant class during the Tokugawa Period.
Polygynous marriage became less common during the Muromachi Period; traits that became popular included marrying at a distance (rather than within a close group) and lavish weddings. And men began to have concubines for two main reasons: as a symbol of status and success, and they were also legally recognized as “possible providers of succession to the ie.”
On a side note, until the Muromachi Period, Japan was predominantly a matriarchal society, particularly in lower-class and rural areas. Such commoner women had the benefits of equality and power, and they also had freedom in the areas of love and marriage. However, for many centuries even through the 19th century, freedom in love and marriage decisions has been much more prevalent in the lower classes (farming, fishing, and merchant folk) -- and during the times predating the Muromachi Period, such classes made up 80 percent of Japan’s population.
The Feudal Period
According to an excerpt from an article in the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Japanese Culture, “from the feudal period [approx. 9th century], both the aristocracy and samurai class increasingly came to view marriage as an opportunity for political, economic and social alliances that promoted the interests of families.” Essentially, under the feudal system, marriages were often used as political and diplomatic approaches to maintaining peace and unity among feudal lords. The article explains that omiai is the practice of arranged marriages, and a go-between (called nakado) is critical to the “process of socio-economic negotiation between two families.” And since men and women did not have a say in choosing their partners in marriage, a matchmaker (the nakado) arranged marriages on behalf of both families. On the whole, between the 11th and 15th centuries in Japan, marriage itself became a central means of officially (and ceremonially) cementing alliances.
The Tokugawa Period
Tokugawa Period (1603-1867), two forms of marriage existed side by side: the arranged marriage and the love marriage. In the social hierarchy, the
samurai were at the top, then peasants, artisans and merchants.
The arranged marriages were characteristic mainly of the samurai (the warrior
class), and commoners generally married for love. However, the marriage system
became subject to many rules and regulations to preserve the status quo.
For example, a law was instituted requiring governmental registries to keep
track of the status of every household. Households planning marriage had to
report such plans, marriages had to be cleared by officials, and a go-between
was required to confirm that the families were indeed of equal rank and class.
And strict endogamy was more or less an indication of either very low or very
high status—and quite uncommon.
Period is a perfect example of a tightly controlled feudal system. From 1603,
the shoguns had all belonged to the Tokugawa clan; the name sometimes used for
their government was Tokugawa bakufu (shogunate).
The House of
Tokugawa—the last Japanese shogunate,
and the one after which the period was named—dictated the ideology that loyalty to the overlord was essentially the same as
loyalty to the family. Bernard Murstein explains this identification of the
family with the government in his book Love, Sex and Marriage Through the
Ages, and adds, “Japan has traditionally been a country where individualism
was frowned upon as being detrimental to the interests of the ie, the
Ian Buruma, in his aforementioned book Inventing Japan, describes more in-depth some of the ideology that the Tokugawa bakufu subscribed to. He describes it as “neo-Confucianism,” a strand of Confucianism that originated in the 12th century with Chinese philosopher Chu Hsi. Hsi stressed natural order and absolute obedience to authority. Bernard Murstein adds that the writings of Confucius emphasized patriarchal family ancestor worship and “filial piety,” as well the notion that the woman was inferior to the man. These were all central notions in the ie family system.
The Meiji Restoration – The Revolution
By the mid-19th century, Japan had been ripe for change for some time. Many daimyo (Japanese feudal barons) were in debt to the merchants. The samurai—professional warriors—grew impoverished and discontent; there was little to do with their skills in a time of peace. The Meiji Restoration began a period of modernization in Japan, and gradually the rigid class divisions were abolished entirely.
In addition to the growing poverty of the feudal barons, other factors influenced the conversion of Japan. Many great clans of western Japan were growing tired of the Tokugawa shogunate. In addition, in 1854, American naval officer Matthew C. Perry indirectly encouraged the rebellion against the government when he forced the opening of trade with the West. As Ian Buruma puts it, Perry “provoked a political crisis in Japan that led to the end of self-imposed isolation.” However, Buruma clarifies, “Western influence has often been a catalyst for radical change in Japan, but it was by no means the only reason the bakufu system began to look threadbare.” Threatened from within and without, the shogunate collapsed, and conspiracies engineered by the western clans and imperial court nobles forced the shogun's final resignation.
The Meiji Restoration
Civil Code and Other Changes
It is important to note that the Meiji government’s ascent to power in 1868 did not alter the identification of the family with the government. In fact, the association was taken a step further when the emperor pronounced that, through divine ancestry, he was the head of the main family and the Japanese people were branch families, also deriving ancestry from the Sun Goddess. Loyalty to the emperor, he felt, therefore went beyond just loyalty to the government, because he was the “mythical father of the nation.”
It is accurate to say that after the Restoration, the government had become open to Western influence—and trade—though the new regime showed mixed reaction to suggested changes in legislation regarding families. In particular, the Western style of life triggered support for some of the more traditional family principles and values. Sumiko Iwao explains, “With modernization, the integration and centralization of Japanese society progressed, and the male-dominated, vertically [hierarchal] structured society became firmly established, leaving women out of the mainstream, although they continued to play a strong role in society.”
In 1898, the emperor introduced a constitution of sorts called the Meiji Civil Code. Women’s rights were severely limited under the Civil Code, which upheld old Confucian ethics. For example, according to the law, a woman who was not faithful to her husband could be immediately divorced, while on the other hand, an unfaithful husband suffered little for his actions. On very few grounds could women apply for a judicial divorce.
The main intent of the Civil Code was to more firmly ingrain Confucian ideology in families, but the guidelines of shared responsibilities put the strictest demands on women and children. Bernard Murstein says, “The traditional allegiance to the ie, adopted from the feudal warrior class, was now legalized and strengthened … the effect of the code was to identify samurai customs, as well as selected Western ones, as national laws and to spread their influence.”
Marriage During the Meiji Period
Omiai, or the practice of arranged marriages, spread through all classes of Japanese society after the beginning of the Meiji Period. Prior to that, it had been common only among samurai families, as they often needed to arrange unions across long distances to match their social standing.
Marriages were most frequently arranged by parents through the offices of a go-between; the primary function of the arranged marriage was still to ensure the continuation of the family and its assets and lineage, and it was still imperative that the prospective partner come from a family of compatible status and family background. Whether or not the man and the woman were compatible, however, was quite a secondary consideration. But things had improved somewhat: In the days of the samurai, the couple sometimes met for the first time on their wedding day; during arranged marriages in the Meiji Period, however, the couple were formally brought together in the presence of the go-between and were at least given the chance to briefly meet before the wedding day. And naturally, this approach to marriage fit in quite well with the policy of the Meiji government, particularly the notion that Japan was one big family with the emperor as its head.
The Latter Half of the Meiji
Period to the Taishō Period
Between the second half of the Meiji Period (roughly 1890 through 1911) and The Taishō Period (1912-1926), not many significant changes took place that involved marriage or the family. Most of the changes were political and economic ones; for example, the First Sino-Japanese War during 1894-1895 and the Russo-Japanese War from 1904-1905. However, a couple of items of interest do exist. For one, according to Joy Hendry, during the Taishō Period, the number of illegitimate births dropped significantly, as well as unplanned pregnancies that directly led to marriage. Hendry attributes this to a pre-war (Russo-Japanese War) school of thought that existed, one that promoted the idea of keeping couples isolated from one another prior to marriage. Another change, notes Murstein, is that love marriages were quite uncommon up until World War II. He even adds that in the 1920s, a man’s body was discovered, and upon finding a photo of his wife on his person, the mortician declared his diagnosis was suicide. This story prompts Murstein to remark, “Apparently, no one in his right mind would carry a picture of his wife!”
World War II
World War II, safe to say, dramatically changed many aspects of Japanese life for years to come. It would be a monumental—and more unnecessary than useful—task to go into many parts of the war in detail. Entire library shelves are dedicated to books about the cause of the war and the like, and considering the complexity and debate surrounding such topics, these are not significant to the subject of marriage and family. Suffice it to say that the discussion about it is meant to be abstract at best.
When Japan surrendered in 1947,
the Japanese Constitution was rewritten. The Constitution, or at least the part
of it that deals with marriage, now read:
Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes, and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis. With regard to choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, choice of domicile, divorce and other matters pertaining to marriage and the family, laws shall be enacted from the standpoint of individual dignity and the essential equality of the sexes.
Modern-Day Japan (Post-WWII)
There was considerably little opposition to these revolutionary innovations that Douglas MacArthur created. The postwar Constitution, which shapes today’s society in Japan, clearly stipulates equality of all people, explains Sumiko Iwao. She says that the older generation (those born before 1935) view it “as imposed by the American Occupation,” and then adds, “but the postwar generation thinks of it as its own and acts accordingly.”
Some of the biggest changes that came from these new laws included the total abolishment of the ie family system, including the male as the head of the family. Women were given more equality, including in having more legal ability to divorce their husband. Prior to the amendments to the Japanese Constitution, “women usually had to be accepted by the bridegroom and his family, and in the extended family their status was very low until the mother-in-law passed away. Today, young women can count on more equal treatment.”
Modern Arranged Marriages
Today, says the Kodansha Encyclopedia article, “modern marriages continue the principles of equality and marriage within a known group.” The article adds that the selection of a bride or groom during childhood is very uncommon, and that to an extent, “the modern system [of marriage] has adjusted to pressure from the Western custom of love marriages.” From the mid-1960s, love matches replaced arranged marriages as a social norm, and dating became the new fashion among young men and women looking for a compatible partner—essentially, romantic love is the preferable alternative to omiai. However, Sumiko Iwao summarizes, the majority of marriages today are love marriages. Omiai are common practice, but the “arrangement” is usually limited to the first introduction of the couple only, whereas it used to refer to the entire process of matrimonial decision-making.
As for the nakado, or go-between, the role hasn’t changed quite too much. Kalman Applbaum, in his article “Marriage With the Proper Stranger: Arranged Marriage in Metropolitan Japan,” explains that there now exist professional go-between services. Their function is somewhat modeled after the traditional role of the nakado. The standard procedure for a person employing the use of a professional go-between service is to fill out personal information forms, provide a photograph, and then all information is distributed among other go-between agencies. When one of them has a potential match for the customer, the person is contacted, brought in to look at their potential match’s info and make a decision as to whether or not they want to meet them. However, realistically speaking, few people expect to find their next of kin after just casual meeting and dates.
Statistics & Figures
According to an article titled “Time Distributions in the Process to Marriage and Pregnancy in Japan,” data from a 1987 survey of 9522 women under the age of 50 was used to show that “women resorting to an arranged marriage showed a large increase in the age at first meeting and marriage age, while women marrying on a love-match basis did not.” It goes on to say, “Women more likely to seek a career are more likely to have a higher age at first meeting and a longer time between engagement and marriage, even in love-match cases.” It would be accurate to summarize these results as suggesting that a large proportion of women preferred a love-match marriage, but only a minority of them were career-oriented.
The article in the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Japanese Culture states that the average age for marriage in Japan is on the rise. In Meiji times, girls were often married by 16; in the early 20th century, 23 was the average age, and in 1976, the average age for women was 24½ and for men it was 28. In 1996, it was 27½ for women and 30 for men. (Few statistics are known for earlier time periods.) And according to the Kodansha Encyclopedia article, fifty percent of all males marry by age 29, and eighty-five percent marry by 35. Women generally marry younger than men—thirty percent marry between 20 and 24, seventy-eight percent marry by 29, and by age 34, ninety percent of all females are married. Less than eight percent remain unmarried. The article attributes the high percentage of marriage (in both sexes) in part to the role of the go-between who help people locate and meet suitable, equal mates.
In 1897, the divorce rate in Japan was as high as 340 per 1000 marriages, and the rate steadily declined until 1940, when it was down to just 76 per 1000. According to Murstein, the initially high divorce rate had to do with the “nonsacramental nature of marriage, the lack of governmental concern with it and the low status of women.” Most divorces back then were by mutual consent; basically, if the husband’s family was displeased with the wife she could be sent back. On the other hand, the regression of the divorce rate (after the onset of the first Civil Code) was “probably due to the adoption of the samurai code, which emphasized family stability [and] a later age for marriage.” By the 1990s, it was down to around one percent of all marriages.
Sumiko Iwao’s book, published in 1993, contains one of the more recent figures on omiai; at that time, the number of those who said they were married by omiai had decreased to 24 percent. The number who said theirs was a love marriage had gone up to 74 percent.
According to a Web page that cites information from the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research—as of 1998— 50 years ago, approximately three-fourths of all marriages in Japan were arranged. The figure has gone down to less than 10 percent. It says that the woman is older than the man in 23 percent of Japanese marriages, and the man is older in 60 percent of them.
There are many aspects of Japan and Japanese society that have influenced marriage, the family structure and the roles of women. The information that has been presented, of course, does not even scratch the surface of a lot of these topics; entire books have been written on some of them. From the wedding ceremonies themselves to the gender roles of women outside the household, from the ways in which Western society has influenced Japan to the Zen Buddhism philosophies, from the entire complex history of the feudal period and overlords to the political revolts, the information seems limitless. But one thing has remained constant: the complexity of it all. Perhaps it would suffice to say that, regarding marriage and omiai, the former has its origins since essentially the beginning of time, and the latter came about in some cultures so as to bring equality among families and cultures. In arranged marriages, people could be forced into marriage to prevent wars, to settle disputes and other reasons. Over time, however, this has mostly changed. Sumiko Iwao makes a very intelligent, perceptive point: Americans exclaim that they can’t understand why Japanese women tolerate such blatant discrimination. To which she replies: That very argument brings up the most important point, that American and Japanese women “differ in their view of equality.” She says also that the Japanese view of equality is summarized as, “even though men and women are different in disposition, behavior and biology, they can be equal as humans, although that equality consists of a balance of advantage, opportunity and responsibility achieved over time.” And women see themselves as equal to their husbands—and the husbands openly admit their dependence on their wives.
As mentioned, it is a topic of
very great depth, and all the others are intertwined and interconnected. For
now, it will have to do to simply say that complex societies are ever-changing.
But over time, women have gained more rights and equality—especially with the dawn of a new age after World War II, when women began
learning that they were indeed equals. The arranged marriage as it used to be is
gone, and the term now refers to the first steps in a relationship; that is,
essentially, the dating. A love marriage is what people have come to see as
significant; families aren’t as reliant on their children and descendants as
they used to be, so economic class and such factors have taken a well-deserved
backseat. What is fascinating is that as women have begun to assert themselves
as equals, the men— and society as a whole—admitted that both sexes relied
on one another. And if Japan—the same country that once permitted a man’s
murder of his disobedient wife without fear of punishment—can treat women
differently but as equals, then who is anyone else to judge? The Japanese say
that men are the dominant power in some areas and that women are superior in
others, and that in the long run, both end up being equal. So if they’re not
complaining about their situation, why are we? Perhaps the concept of equality is more subjective than
we’d like to admit.
Applbaum, Kalman D. “Marriage With the Proper Stranger: Arranged
Marriage in Metropolitan Japan.” Ethnology Winter 1995: 37-52.
“Arranged marriages.” Encyclopedia of Contemporary Japanese Culture.
1st ed. 2002.
Buruma, Ian. Inventing Japan. New York: The Modern Library, 2003.
Hendry, Joy. Marriage in Changing Japan. Rutland, Vermont: Charles E.
Tuttle Co., 1981.
“The History Behind Arranged Marriages.” clickwalla.com: The
U.K.'s Leading Asian Portal. 2003. MeMedia. 24 May 2003
Holy Bible: New International Version. London: Hodder & Stoughton,
Iwao, Sumiko. The Japanese Woman. New York: The Free Press, 1993.
“Japan.” Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. 2003.
Kazou, Kurimoto. “Under New
Management.” UNESCO Courier July
“Marriage.” Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan. 1st ed. 1983.
“Marriage.” Def. 1c. Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. 9th ed.
Mochizuki, Takashi. “Changing Pattern of Mate Selection.” Journal of
Comparative Family Studies Summer 1981: 317-328.
Murstein, Bernard I. Love, Sex and Marriage Through the Ages. New York:
Springer Publishing Co., 1974.
Otani, Kenji. “Time Distributions in the Process to Marriage and Pregnancy
in Japan.” Population Studies November 1991: 473-481.
“Tying the Knot: The Changing Face of Marriage in Japan.” Trends in
Japan. 28 July 1998. Japan Information Network. 1 June 2003
United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population
Division. Dictionary of Demographic and Reproductive Health
Terminology (draft). New York: United Nations, 1999.
 “Marriage,” Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, 1989 ed.
 Eph 5:22-33.
 “The History Behind Arranged Marriages,” clickwalla.com: The U.K.’s Leading Asian Portal, 2003, MeMedia, 24 May 2003 <http://www.clickwalla.com/article.php?cid=53&aid=82>.
 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, Dictionary of Demographic and Reproductive Health Terminology (New York: United Nations, 1999).
 Kazou, Kurimoto, “Under New Management,” UNESCO Courier July 1987: 28-34.
 Iwao, Sumiko, The Japanese Woman (New York: The Free Press, 1993) 287.
 Hendry, Joy, Marriage in Changing Japan (Rutland: Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1981) 14-15.
 Kazou, “Management” 31.
 “Marriage,” Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan, 1983 ed.
 “Marriage,” Kodansha.
 “Marriage,” Kodansha.
 Hendry, Changing 248-51.
 Arranged marriages,” Encyclopedia of Contemporary Japanese Culture, 2002 ed.
 Hendry, Changing 19.
 Iwao, Woman 5.
 “Arranged marriages,” Contemporary.
 “Japan,” Columbia Encyclopedia, 2003 ed.
 “Marriage,” Kodansha.
 Buruma, Ian, Inventing Japan (New York: The Modern Library, 2003) 12.
 Murstein, Bernard I., Love, Sex and Marriage Through the Ages (New York: Springer Publishing Co., 1974) 486.
 Buruma, Inventing 17, 21.
 Murstein, Love 467.
 Iwao, Woman 5.
 Buruma, Inventing 12-4.
 “Japan,” Columbia.
 Murstein, Love 486.
 Iwao, Woman, 5.
 Hendry, Changing 20-2.
 Murstein, Love 487.
 “Marriage,” Kodansha.
 Hendry, Changing 24.
 “Japan,” Columbia.
 Hendry, Changing 25.
 Murstein, Love 494.
 Hendry, Changing 26.
 Iwao, Woman 24.
 Iwao, Woman 64.
 “Marriage,” Kodansha.
 Applbaum, Kalman D., “Marriage With the Proper Stranger: Arranged Marriage in Metropolitan Japan,” Ethnology Winter 1995: 37-52.
 Otani, Kenji, “Time Distributions in the Process to Marriage and Pregnancy in Japan,” Population Studies November 1991: 473-487.
 “Arranged marriages,” Contemporary.
 “Marriage,” Kodansha.
 Murstein, Love 492.
 “Tying the Knot: The Changing Face of Marriage in Japan,” Trends in Japan, 28 July 1998, Japan Information Network, 1 June 2003 <http://www.jinjapan.org/trends98/honbun/ntj980729.html>.
 Iwao, Woman 2.