Friday, February 01, 2008

Shibaura Institute of Technology: Another Global Issues Project

One of the topics studied in the Global Issues 2 class at Shibaura Institute of Technology this year was marriage traditions in various cultures. The students read articles about Botswana, Cretan, Jewish, and Chinese wedding traditions. Following the unit the students were given the research project below:

Marriage traditions in Japan: Omiai

Even today, some people in Japan have arranged marriages called omiai (お見合い). Some people don’t like arranged marriages because the couple doesn’t love each other, at least in the beginning. Some people think that arranged marriages are still a good idea because both men and women are very busy now and they don’t have a chance to meet a potential spouse. What do you think? Discover your feelings about omiai by doing the following tasks:

1. Write a brief explanation of omiai (100 words)
2. List the good points of omiai (at least 5)
3. List the bad points of omiai (at least 5)
4. Explain Konpa (コンパ) (50 words)
5. Explain your opinion of omiai. (150 words)

You can get information from:
Make reference to your textbook too – at least one reference.

Seiya's Report

1. What is Omiai?

Omiai is a method of making couples in Japan. Some people are too busy to find a boyfriend or a girlfriend. So they submit “tsurisyo” to a “nakoudo”. (“Tsurisyo” is like a resume. “Nakoudo” means matchmaker in English. Relatives or neighbors or company bosses usually serve as nakoudo.) The nakoudo exchanges tsurisyo with other nakoudo in order to search for a person who matches the client’s requests. If the person is found and the clients wish to meet each other, they meet with the nakoudo and pay money to him. If they marry, they pay money to him again.

Nowadays, omiai is done without nakoudo by means of internet. But sometimes this type of omiai leads to crimes because the web page can be seen by everyone.

2. Virtues of Omiai

1. Couples can be made without relying on chance.
2. People need not to search for a girl/boy friend by themselves.
3. People can meet and talk with many other people.
4. It can be done again and again until the best person is found.
5. Everyone can do omiai.

3. Faults of Omiai

1. It costs money.
2. It exposes personal information to many people.
3. Some people can hide their real faces at the omiai.
4. It has many traditional rules.
5. It takes a long time to begin companionship.

4. What is Konpa?

Konpa is a drink party held in order to make deep friendships in Japanese universities and companies. Members eat and drink and talk with each other. “Ikki-nomi” is popular at Konpa. Ikki-nomi is drinking a schooner (even a pitcher) of alcohol in one shot. It is a very dangerous performance.

5. My opinion of Omiai

I take the middle position regarding omiai. Omiai is a method of meeting for busy people or unlucky people who can’t meet potential companions. I think should everyone should have this chance. So I think omiai is okay. Also, it is a Japanese tradition! But I think omiai is a very risky method of marriage. Some people say that we really feel love for each other. But I think it is very rarely the case because couples are unable to really get to know each other through just a few conversations. Some people can hide their real faces and fake themselves. So if they marry, they will find faults in which they don’t expect in each other. I have heard they divorce due to this reason. In addition, omiai requires many traditional rules. If I love someone, I want to do it freely. Finally,I think omiai is okay but I don't want to marry by means of omiai.

Shingo's Report

A brief explanation of omiai.

Omiai is a marriage meeting. It is when a woman and a man hoping for marriage meet. It is mediated by a person called nakoudo. A high-quality hotel and restaurant are used for the place of omiai. Traditional omiai is performed with the courtesy of a ceremonial occasion. In recent years, a marriage information service companies offering nakoudo service have appeared probably because the persons in question can not readily reach marriage by leaving all this to others.

The good points of omiai.
  1. To know the career and the family relations of the partner beforehand, after association, the flow to the marriage is smooth.
  2. Application is possible.
  3. Both persons think about marriage seriously.
  4. If a person doesn’t like the other person, he or she can decline.
  5. There are very few troubles to marriage.

The bad points of omiai.

  1. It costs money.
  2. It takes a lot of time.
  3. It is troublesome.
  4. It is formal.
  5. It is difficult to come across an ideal partner.

My Opinion of omiai.

I think that omiai is necessary. Omiai is a tradition in Japan. If omiai perishes, Japanese tradition is decreased. I think that omiai is necessary for people hoping for marriage. Omiai is one of the tools that can be used in order to marry. Omiai is necessary so that many people marry.

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