April 20, 2024

Unique Japanese Wedding Traditions Gifts For 2024

Explore the fascinating universe of Japanese culture wedding customs in which every component is full of rich symbolism and elegance. 

Beginning with the pre-wedding customs such as the Yui-no betrothal ritual which includes the exchange of the symbolic presents that express the wishes for the happy marriage and finishing with the diversity of the wedding styles associated with Shinto priest influences, Christianity, and Buddhism, Japanese weddings are a mix of old traditions and recent trends. 

We'll introduce to you the basic rule you should be aware of, and make sure you have a ton of wedding gift ideas that Japanese and International couples will enjoy.

This post is great to get you gift ideas for anyone attending a wedding this year, and getting some unique ideas how to present the wedding gifts.

Japanese Wedding Traditions Gifts - The idea and intention count

Japanese Wedding Traditions Gifts - The idea and intention count

Understanding Japanese Wedding Traditions Gifts

Yuino and Gift Exchange

Yuino ceremony is one of the vital pre-wedding customs in Japan; here the formal engagement between the two families takes place. 

This custom is followed by the giving of a very symbolic set of presents, which reflect what the couple hopes to be their future lives together. 

Picture, the families gathering, to give and honor, bringing beautifully wrapped gifts. 

The gifts generally embody fine sakes that are chosen for their sophistication and a blessing that the couple’s life would be as abundant, katsuobushi, which is dried bonito flakes, as a prayer for a steadfast and enduring relationship and even seaweed that would represent the happiness of a successful future. 

Cute
KUDOS.JP Japanese Traditional Money Envelope for Wedding - Japanese Plum Ume Mizuhiki Design (Japan Import)
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Cute flower-style envelope for money giving at weddings, birthdays.

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Each part is selected for a reason and its value is rooted in cultural character. 

However, while thinking of these gifts, keep in mind that they not only honor the tradition, but also wish true blessings for union.

Shinto-style Wedding Ceremonies

Shinto ceremonies and shinto style weddings have their foundation in the spiritual core of Japan giving a peek into the nation’s soul. 

The nature and the deities (kami) blend at a Shinto shrine where such ceremonies are usually performed. 

Traditional attire is worn by the bride and groom; a "shiromuku"( traditional white kimono) which is a pure white kimono to indicate her virginity for the bride and formal "montsuki haori hakama" ( formal black kimono) which is a combination of kimono jacket and wide leg trousers for the groom. 

The ceremony is personal, limited to close family members and friends. 

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Kimono-inspired wine bottle cover.

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Central components encompasses the Sanshin no Kagura, a holy dance performed by the shrine maidens, and the branch offering, where branches are offered by the couple to the kami( good fortune). This ritual is a tranquil and respectful transaction in which the past is being paid respect to while the couple is moving forward into their future.

Japanese Wedding Traditions Gifts - Shinto style weddings

Japanese Wedding Traditions Gifts - Shinto style weddings

Wardrobe Changes and Significance

The changes of clothes during the weddings, in particular, the traditional Japanese ones, have more than just stylistic aspect. 

There are a range of formal kimono the Japanese women and men wear.

They are full of symbol and the transformation of the Japanese couple throughout the wedding trip. 

The bride starts in the shiromuku, a white kimono that represents purity and readiness to be dyed in the colors of her new family. 

During the merriments (the Japanese wedding reception) she may as well put on a brightly coloured kimono known as iro-uchikake, which is the symbol of joy and happiness. 

Japan Feeling
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The groom wear is a montsuki haori hakama, could also change to more of a colorful outfit along with the bride. 

These changes do not only excite the eyes, but tell stories of personal and communal histories, hinting of the couple’s transformation from single people into a marriage partnership. Those traditions once again highlight the fact that clothes play an important role in a Japanese wedding and each piece of attire has its own story.

Unveiling the Perfect Japanese Wedding Gift

Traditional Gift Items

In Japanese weddings, especially those in line with Japanese tradition, attire changes are much more that just a fashion. 

They are saturated with signs and the change of the couple through the wedding journey. 

The bride might start in a shiromuku, a white kimono  that represents purity and a readiness to be dyed in the colors of her new family. 

If the celebration goes on, she can put on a multicolored kimono known as an “iro-uchikake,” which represents happiness and jubilation. 

Our Favorite
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The groom who was initially dressed in his montsuki haori hakama, would also change into an informal ensemble that is bit colorful, to complement with the bride’s change. 

These changes are more than mere visual pleasures; they are also stories of personal and shared histories and also, the transition of the couple from individual singles to a couple as a married unit. 

Regarding the choice of a wedding gift for a Japanese couple, traditional gifts are a considerable way to pay respect to their heritage. 

Gift money (it has to be new from the bank!) in a special envelop is a safe way. 

You can buy the envelop at a Japanese convenience store, but best ask the sales staff, so you don't grab a funeral one by accident.

Based on your relationship with the couple, different amounts are common.

Think of a “sensu”, a folding fan that represents the future growth and expansion much the way as the spread of the fan. 

Handcrafted
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Pottery like “raku-yaki” or “hagi-yaki,” which is the reflection of imperfection and the individuality of the couple’s path, can also be recognized as a much favored choice. 

For Everyday
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A pair of noren, which is a type of curtains that are normally hanged at the front entrance of homes or businesses in Japan, can symbolize a fresh start for the couple. 

Noren
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Doorway curtain (W33.5'xH66.9') is very common in Japan to create a visible border between two rooms.

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To add a human touch, a “furoshiki,” a textile, which has a wide range of applications due to its ability to wrap and to transport items, can be the gift of a practical, but also culturally loaded character, as a sign of your care and attention. 

Furoshiki
Japanese wrapping cloth FUROSHIKI MANEKI-NEKO HAPPY CAT MADE IN JAPAN 50cm
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Furoshiki are cloths used in Japan traditionally to use as bag or wrap special gifts.

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Our Favorite
Maeda Japanese Wrapping Cloth a Row of Cherry Trees Sakura 50 x 50cm
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A stylish Japanese wrapping for special gifts or to carry your groceries.

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These presents are not merely things but they are woven with meaning and purpose, offering more than their functional purpose – they symbolize good wishes and a strong tradition.

Silk
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Beautiful silk kimono with a range of exquisite patterns.

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Japanese Wedding Traditions Gifts - The presentation matters

Japanese Wedding Traditions Gifts - The presentation matters

Modern Adaptations and Personalized Gifts

Today, the art of gifting in Japanese weddings has gained modern twists that gracefully fit in the traditional values.

Gifts that are personalized are gaining more popularity since, they will provide a unique relationship to the couple. 

A kakejiku, or hanging scroll, made specifically for the couple with the bride and groom’s names rendered in calligraphy, or a wish for their marriage, is but one example. 

On the other hand, a set of “my chopsticks,” specially made for the couple, symbolizes the desire to eat together—and to live together as one. 

Japanese high quality stationery or bespoke “tenugui,” which are painted towels of cotton with intricate designs, can also be brought as a gift. 

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Picture frame to showcase the favorite memory from Japan trip.

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Modern adaptations go way beyond just fashion – they are an ode to the couple’s individuality and are still anchored in the cultural significance of the act. Personalized gifts connect the modern requirement of individuality with the time honored value of tradition.

Money Gifts: A Staple in Japanese Weddings

Money is the go-to gift in Japan, but it always must be presented beautifully.

Top Pick
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Rich traditional envelope for money giving at weddings.

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Bridging Cultural Differences: Western Influences

Western Elements in Japanese Weddings

A modern Japanese wedding is a complete mix of western elements with only some traditional elements. 

White wedding dress and a traditional Japanese white kimono is a common combination in the Japanese bridal fashion, some brides opting to wear both styles during the wedding day and festival. 

The Japanese also adopted the western custom of wedding cakes. 

The cake-cutting ceremony is usually performed by couples, an act of unification as they are doing such a ritual for the first time as a married couple. 

Romantic
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Furthermore, the process of the exchange of rings was integrated in the rituals, pointing to the power of Western elements on symbolic representations of faithfulness. 

Hence, the Western elements are not prevalent over Japanese traditions but they reflect a harmonized blend of both cultures. 

The cultural harmony allows the couples to make the celebration personal and their special day is globally inspired and deeply Japanese.

Christian-inspired Japanese Weddings

Japan is predominantly Shinto and Buddhist, but the Christian-style weddings are getting popular which give a fusion of western style to Japanese background. 

These parties are usually celebrated at the chapels or churches, although the latter is a nondescript venue for any kind of ceremony. 

Such environment produced wedding dresses of the brides that are white and the ceremonies would include Christian practices like hymn singing and vows being said. 

However, the existence of these practices does not represent religious identity; they stand for aesthetic and romantic characteristics of western practices. 

The reception that follows may consist of Western style toasts and speeches also but always in a traditional Japanese way of grace and dignity.

 It comes up with a blend that combines various global traditions, but still in Japanese cultural grace and beauty.

The “White Wedding” Phenomenon

Japanese white wedding is the typical example of globalization of western bridal aesthetics. 

The Western bridal gown, which is typically white and carries the notion of innocence, is now a sought-after attire for most Japanese brides. 

Elegant
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This attribute extends to the setting, dressed in white and flowers, giving way to the western-style wedding. 

The wedding planners have perfected the skill of organizing such romantic Western-style weddings complete with all the trimmings such as bridal trains, flower girls, ring bearers and what have you. Nevertheless, though the image is changing, such weddings continue to have their Japanese flavor, and the articles of clothing may hint at some local unvocalized rituals and behavior regulation. 

The white bride’s dress is a white canvas where the trends of the whole world meet detailed fabrics of Japanese marriage rituals.

Japanese Wedding Traditions Gifts - Red color signifies prosperity

Japanese Wedding Traditions Gifts - Red color signifies prosperity

Reception Rituals and Customs

Beyond San San Ku Do Tradition

More often than not Japanese couples will not go for the traditional San San Ku Do ceremony, but for a more international approach.

The Japanese “white wedding” is a perfect example of the globalization of the western bridal look. 

The white western dress that represents purity has grown into the most desired attire that many Japanese brides would like to wear on their big day. 

This fascination follows to the having of the décor, to the fact, the setting is white clothed and covered with flowers, all this making a western style rite. 

These wedding planners have become experts at organizing such classic Western weddings with all the trimmings, including bridesmaids, flower girls, and ring bearers. 

Though, even when the image is changing, with the help of this kind of wedding, a Japanese identity would be usually maintained and performers would insinuate some locally unseen rituals and behavior regulation itself.

 A blank canvas on which world trends are interlaced with the intricate fabric of Japanese marriage tradition is the white wedding gown.

Kagami-Biraki: Sake for Everyone

Kagami-Biraki is a mirthful and meaningful reception ritual that literally means “opening the mirror.” 

The ceremony kicks off with the bashing of the lid of a round sake barrel that symbolizes unity and grace. The lid rounding shape is starting from the mirror to the soul and to break it is to bring a bright tomorrow by tearing down the fences. 

Our Pick
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Once the lid is removed, sake is offered to the guests, signifying the sharing of happiness and wealth. 

Toward your new life toast is one of the traditions having its roots in the samurai tradition, which later was introduced in weddings as a jump to the life of a couple. 

The shared nature of the ritual creates a feeling of camaraderie amongst the guests, as they drink the sake together that also represents the Japanese value of collectivism. 

This common occurrence not only unites the participants but also fills the celebration with a feeling of warmth and community blessing.

Oironaoshi: Changing into Party Dresses

The Oironaoshi is a charming climax during the Japanese wedding receptions when the bride changes from her traditional wedding kimono to a more relaxed party dress. 

This change is more than a mere costuming; it represents a move from the gravity of the ceremony to the festive nature of the reception. 

The new attire is usually an evening gown, which is a western style or a colorful kimono, which enables her reveal her individuality, and can be perceived as an indication of her readiness to enter a new stage of her life in the society. 

Applause and admiring glances from the guests are the response that happens when the bride comes back to the reception wearing a new change of clothes. 

This practice creates a visual variety to the reception that captures the multiple roles of the bride and the fluidity of her identity when she becomes a wife. 

The Oironaoshi is an invaluable custom which gives the day’s celebrations another depth of beauty.

Japanese Wedding Traditions Gifts - Modern gifts include perfumes

Japanese Wedding Traditions Gifts - Modern gifts include perfumes

Japanese Wedding Souvenirs

Traditional Souvenirs for Guests

The wedding favors in Japanese weddings, known as “hikidemono” are an appreciation, and a way of sharing the joy of the event, and they are usually some form of ancestral design such as a beautiful “sensu” which is not only functional but also a symbol of growth and prosperity. 

Another popular item known as tenugui, which are hand-dyed cotton towels with various designs, is also preferred because of their practical and artistic value. 

Traditional design
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Maneki-neko which symbolizes the bringing of good luck and fortune to those who receive them, is preferred by some couples. 

Good Luck
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The subtle taste and presentation make wagashi, the traditional Japanese sweets, a gift too.

 Verily those souvenirs are well picked to show the honor that they have and to let a little sweet memory about that special day in their guests’ minds and hearts.

Modern Souvenir Trends

Wedding souvenir trends evolve with time. In Japan, modern couples are reinventing the traditional “hikidemono,” and instead of irrelevant items packed with a gift, today’s hikidemono often comes in a form of a custom-made tote bag or refined sets of office accessories, which merge practicality and a dash of elegance. 

Tech gadgets are also picking up in popularity when it comes to preserving the memory of the wedding in Japan, for instance USB drives with the couple’s initials or the wedding date. 

In fact, some couples are choosing even green gifts, such as potted plants or seeds, which are the symbols of the prosperity and common future. Inspite of thanking the guests for their engagement, the modern souvenirs also mirror the couple’s character and beliefs. 

Everything You Need
Japanese Tea Ceremony Set – Matcha Bowl, Bamboo Whisk, Scoop, Holder, and Matcha Green Tea Powder – Charcoal Grey, 7 Pieces
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This Matcha Set contains everything a beginner needs for a Japanese tea ceremony.

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The idea revolves around delivering something that the guests can remember and use in their daily routine that will keep the spirit of the celebration for a long time even after the wedding day is gone.

Souvenir Selection: A Personalized Approach

The best souvenirs for a Japanese wedding are personally made business that reflects the couples’ journey and preferences. 

It is in everything’s that one perfect piece, which tells a tale or brings back a memory of that day. 

Our Pick
Cast Iron Tea Kettle for Stovetop - Japanese Tea Set with Warmer, Trivet, Infuser and 4 Teacups, Hobnail Design (40 oz, Black, 6 Pieces)
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This traditional and understated tea set is great for brewing a fresh cup of tea at any time for a moment of "Zen".

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Couples are inclined to pick out personalized souvenirs with their names, wedding date or a symbol of love for them. 

These can range from personalized glassware to custom chopstick sets, even artisan jewelry pieces. 

The token should be an item that reverberates the guests of the unique link the couple shares.

 Some might choose to buy gifts that remind them of the honeymoon place or a hobby they both share that adds another touch of personalization. 

Best Rice Cooker
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Choosing such souvenirs is not only the tradition of the distribution of gifts, they are an heir of the wedding storyline and serve to take away from that day the part of love and loyalty of the couple.

Japanese Wedding Traditions Gifts - Souvenirs will help guests remember the special day

Japanese Wedding Traditions Gifts - Souvenirs will help guests remember the special day

じゃあね、Yama

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