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.

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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.

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