Describe the historical, religious, and financial significances of arranged marriage in the three main East Asian countries.
Arranged marriage in China used to be conducted on the principles of Confucianism. According to it, one should have married the person with another surname to close the connections between the community couple lived in. In addition, the parents of a bride or groom could arrange the marriage considering the wealth and the social status of the partner. Many unmarried people were not acquainted till the day of the marriage. ‘Three Letters and Six Etiquettes’ was the tradition kept for a long time in order to conduct a marriage. (Groom’s parents went to parents of a bride, asked for assistance of matchmaker, who made a decision if the marriage would be happy or not, if yes – gave presents to matchmaker and bride’s parents, matchmaker decided upon the date of the wedding, parents arranged wedding afterwards) (Travel China guide, 2016) Nowadays people in China moved away from the practice of arranged marriages, however, such marriages still take place in some rural areas of the country. (Futurescopes.com, 2016)
Marriages in Korea were also based on traditional Confucian values. Couples were not supposed to see each other till the ceremony and their parents decided upon the best suitable partner due to the social and financial status of the groom, appearance, personality and personal achievements. (10 magazine) Koreans used the matchmaker in order to predict whether the marriage would be successful or not and changed gifts between each other. In addition, families could use the help of marriage broker, who was employed in order to estimate the financial and social state of the young man along with the family background. Nowadays, there is a big percentage of the Koreans married to people from different religions and nationalities, nonetheless, arranged marriage is still practiced in some rural areas of the country. (10 magazine)
In Japanese culture the partner is chosen more precisely and the choice of the partner is based on child’s will as well. It was not acceptable to marry the person of a different religion. The process of finding the spouse for the child began in the 16th century in Samurai class and it was called ‘omiai’. The matchmaker for the couple was ‘nakodo’. As soon as the match was found, a meeting of both sides (parents and children) was arranged. Young people were given a chance to be acquainted and spend some time dating till their final decision. Nowadays the tradition of ‘omiai’ is kept, many parents are searching for the best match for own child. (futurescopes.com, 2016)
Describe the charged and ambivalent category of "divorced" status in contemporary Japan.
According to statistics the divorce rate in Japan nowadays is lower than it was in the Meiji Era (1868-1912). (Hays, 2014) It can be explained by a few factors: less people are getting married nowadays, getting a divorce in the Meiji Era was possible by a man only writing a letter to the wife. The state of a divorced woman is Japan is complicated. Companies do not want to employ single mothers or divorced woman due to the traditional belief that being divorced is shameful. Some schools in Japan do not want to accept children from the single-parent family. Consequently, divorced or widowed woman face financial hardship and usually are employed in a low-paid jobs. The custody of the child it transferred to the only parent, mostly mother. After the divorce, children do not see both parents, even if such meetings are allowed by the court. (Hays, 2016)
Travel China Guide. (2016). Ancient Chinese Marriage Custom. Travel China Guide. Retrieved from http://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/social_customs/marriage/
Futurescopes.com. (2016). Countries Where Arranged Marriages are Common. Futurescopes.com. Retrieved from http://www.futurescopes.com/arranged-marriages/8162/countries-where-arranged-marriages-are-common
10magazine. (2016). Arranged marriages in Korea’s past. 10mag.com. Retrieved from http://www.10mag.com/arranged-marriages-in-koreas-past/
Hays, Jeffrey. (2014). Divorce in Japan. http://factsanddetails.com. Retrieved from http://factsanddetails.com/japan/cat18/sub117/item616.html#chapter-1