Japanese Traditional Marriage Ceremony “Shugen”
Due to the longing to be a June Bride, many marriage ceremonies take place across the world this month. The prevailing Shinto-style wedding ceremony became common in Japan in the middle of the Meiji era, when the wedding of a royal family triggered its popularity. Previously, however, shugen was the common style of marriage ceremony in Edo and earlier eras. Shugen was held as the combination of a non-religious public ceremony and reception with all relatives from both families gathered at the groom’s house or elsewhere.
Rituals held during the shugen served as the proof of marriage and differed in each region, but generally included “Hakoseko-no-gi,” where the mother gifted a small box called “hakoseko” with a letter and a good-luck charm in it; “Sankon-no-gi,” by which the couple took marriage vows through three sips of omiki sacred sake; and “Katame-no-sakazuki-no-gi,” which brought both families together as one as the couple and their parents drank up their sake at the same time while the guests watched.
The very first marriage by love in Japan is said to be the one of Susanoo-no-mikoto and Kushinada-hime from the Japanese myth. High-quality “Yaegaki” sake, the flagship product of Yaegaki Shuzo Brewery, was named after the poem by Susanoo-no-mikoto on his happy marriage.