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A Marriage Celebration in Japan

Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment!

Hi everyone! Motoko here!

A few weeks ago, we celebrated the marriage of Marvin. He’s part of our Technical Team and is from Germany. The wedding ceremony was held in May – and what’s more, his bride is Japanese!

In Japan, there are all kinds of wedding ceremonies. There’s the traditional Shintō shinzenshiki, which is held at a shrine, and the Buddhist butsuzenshiki, which is held at a temple; there’s also the kyōkaishiki, or church wedding, which has been gaining popularity in recent years. Another more unusual variant is the jinzenshiki, or civil wedding, in which the couple pledge their eternal love in front of the wedding guests, so their gathered family and friends become the witnesses to the marriage.

Do you know how to congratulate someone on their marriage in Japanese? An easy way to say it is:

Go-kekkon omedetō gozaimasu.
‘Congratulations on your marriage.’

Now, this next one is a bit difficult, so I rarely use it, but if you were to write your congratulations formally on a greeting card, you could use the following expression:

Kashoku no ten o shukushi, o-futari no go-takō to go-hatten o o-inori mōshi agemasu.
‘With humble congratulations on your wedding ceremony, and prayers for your great happiness and advancement.’

This is often also accompanied by phrases that mean ‘Please have a long and happy life together’, such as:

Suenagai o-shiawase o o-inori mōshi agemasu.
‘With humble prayers for your many years of happiness.’

Or:

Suenagaku o-shiawase ni.
‘Wishing you everlasting happiness.’


On this occasion, we as a company presented Marvin with go-shūgi (gift money). On all kinds of occasions in Japan - such as marriages, births, when someone goes on to a higher level of education, funerals, and so on - it is customary to give a monetary gift to represent one’s feelings. When we present someone with go-shūgi, I think it’s not just saying ‘Congratulations on your marriage!’, but also ‘Please put this towards the wedding and your new life together’. 

What kinds of marriage ceremonies are there in your country? Are there any kinds of special customs like go-shūgi?

A lesson about go-shūgi-bukuro (special envelopes for monetary gifts) can be found here:

Learn Kanji - Everyday Kanji 20 Bonus video

結婚祝い

こんにちは、もとこです。
今週、技術スタッフでドイツ出身のマーヴィンさんの結婚祝いをしました。今月、結婚式をあげるそうです。花嫁さんは日本人の方だとか!
 日本では色々なスタイルの結婚式が行なわれます。神社で行なう伝統的な「神前式(しんぜんしき)」やお寺で行なう「仏前式(ぶつぜんしき)」、教会で行なう「教会式(きょうかいしき)」は近年人気を集めています。また、変わったものでは「人前式」というスタイルの結婚式も最近はあります。結婚式に来た人たちの前で永遠の愛を誓い、集まってもらった親族や友人がその誓いの証人になります。
 みなさんは結婚のお祝いを日本語でなんて言うか知っていますか。シンプルな表現では
 「ご結婚おめでとうございます。」
 (ごけっこん おめでとうございます。)
ちょっと難しいので私はあまり使いませんが、フォーマルにグリーティングカードに書くなら
 「華燭の典を祝し、お二人のご多幸とご発展をお祈り申し上げます。」
(かしょくの てんを しゅくし、 おふたりの ごたこうと ごはってんを おいのりもうしあげます)
という言葉もあります。ずっと二人仲良く過ごしてくださいという意味の
 「末永いお幸せをお祈り申し上げます。」 や
 (すえながい おしあわせを おいのり もうしあげます。)
 「末永くお幸せに。」
 (すえながく おしあわせに。)
という言葉もよく添えられます。
 今回、会社としては「ご祝儀」をマーヴィンさんに渡しました。日本では、結婚や出産、進学、お葬式など、何かがあるごとに気持ちを添えてお金を渡す習慣があります。ご祝儀の場合は、結婚おめでとうございますという気持ちだけでなく、結婚式やこれからの新しい生活に役立ててください、という気持ちも込めて渡されるのだと思います。
 みなさんの国ではどんな結婚式がありますか。ご祝儀のように特別な習慣はありますか。
ご祝儀袋についてのレッスン
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage_vCt7fmm0P2w

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