We break down the underlying principles of mainstream dating in Japan so you can avoid the culture clashes that might slip you up. Have you ever wondered about the romantic confessions featured in manga and anime? Well, those are not just a plot tool. Asking someone out on a date is not the same as confessing your romantic intentions. Some adults may even be upfront about the prospect of marriage in their kokuhaku.
Marriage in Japan until the Meiji period had been characterized as an institution that benefited the community; during the Meiji period it was transformed into one that perpetuated and enriched the extended household ie ; and, in postwar years, it has again been transformed—this time into an arrangement between individuals or two nuclear families. Today marriage in Japan can be either an "arranged" union or a "love" match. In theory an arranged marriage is the result of formal negotiations involving a mediator who is not a family member, culminating in a meeting between the respective families, including the prospective bride and groom. This is usually followed, if all goes well, by further meetings of the young couple and ends in an elaborate and expensive civic wedding ceremony. In the case of a love marriage, which is the preference of the majority today, individuals freely establish a relationship and then approach their respective families.
Remember, proper dating etiquette is going to depend a lot on the age, gender and cultural awareness of your date. Avoid doing anything that draws public attention to your date: Japanese culture emphasizes modesty and blending in. If, for example, you meet a man or woman you are interested in and want to ask them for their phone number or to go on a date, do so in private. Drawing public attention to the object of your affection will result in acute embarrassment. Steer clear of public displays of affection, especially on the first date.
With plenty of cobbled piazzas to wander, exquisite cuisine to share and breathtaking panoramas to admire, Italy is made for lovers. Timekeeping works differently in Italy and arriving 10 minutes after the agreed time really is no big deal. In fact, as everybody habitually runs 10 minutes late it means that no one is really late at all.