Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Japan's Wedding Envelope: An Insider's Tips

In Japan, there are many occassions where a gift of cash is given.  A Japanese wedding is one of them.
Here is a shot of one I scanned this morning while my cameras were sleeping.  I'll probably be doing a series on the money envelopes of Japan, or maybe, an article at POCKET CULTURES
and promise to use the camera instead of scanning, next time around.

The Google Stats Guys keep showing me lots of people are looking at my Japan Insider's Tips so, I decided I'd better hurry up and start putting more stuff in there.  I bought a pile of almost every Japanese envelope you could imagine, just for that purpose and they've been gathering dust waiting for me to shoot them. The Japanese Wedding, first because there's a couple of real doozies I can tell you about these things. 

Like, scanners don't do well copying them.  But, there's more.

The very first wedding I attended in Japan was up in Kyushu.  The bride's father paid my way to spend a week up there so I could help my not-so-much-Japanese-speaking friend translate while he was meeting family and getting hitched.  He was from Ohio, I think, because that's all the Japanese he kept saying.

Being treated like royalty for a whole week, I figured the least I could do was act like I knew what I was doing for the wedding.  Hah!  I was clueless.

I got the bride's sister to take me shopping for a wedding card.  That's when I learned it was an envelope, not a card.  And you're supposed to put money in the envelope.

So, I put the equivalent of 300 US Dollars, as a wedding gift, for my two friends, in the envelope.

There was a table with a guest log at the entrance of the wedding hall.  That was where I scrawled my name in the book and deposited what I thought was my wedding gift.

As it turns out, that wedding gift doesn't go to the bride and groom.  All the money given in the wedding envelopes goes to Papa.  It helps pay the costs of the wedding.

So, when the newlyweds returned to Okinawa, I took them shopping for their wedding gift.


Glad this didn't happen to me but, I witnessed this one.  Some of the fancy money envelopes you can buy in Japan aren't for weddings.  They could be for "Get Well Soon" wishes or even funerals. 

Another friend of mine married here, in Okinawa and some gal brought a funeral envelope to the wedding.  Damn.  I'd rather watch cats scratching each other's eyes out !


Or, any other gift giving envelope in Japan, if you don't have a reliable translator to go along with you, GOOGLE IT .

There are plenty of sites explaining the different envelopes, Flickr photos, even photographers who make their living shooting, framing and selling Japanese Envelopes.

Here's one link, I thought was kinda nice, if you want more on fancy envelopes MAMALISA.COM  She seems to have her act together so, I give her a ThumbsUp !



Muza-chan said...

Great article, Mike, thank you :)

RyukyuMike said...

People could learn a lot from watching me make mistakes !

Ryan said...

WOW now my father in law wishes I married his daughter in Japan.

RyukyuMike said...

Trust me on this one. I married-off a few daughters over here and didn't find it too profitable.