Show Me A Wedding

Several months ago, a friend asked me to take pictures of her wedding here in Japan. This was remarkable for several reasons (not the least of which are my piss-poor photography skills):



  • The wedding was a traditional shinto ceremony

  • No one in the wedding was of Japanese heritage or nationality

  • No one in the wedding spoke Japanese

  • The groom had to recite a very old, very traditional reading in Japanese (see above point)


True to EPB form, we arrived just in the nick of time, so I didn't have much chance to take pictures of the setting. Also, the lighting was super funny - a combination of natural light, fluorescent, and light filtering though the walls - and that combined with my superawesomeamzing photag skilz (see above) lead to some shoddy pictures. 


Nevertheless, I thought I'd share them for this weeks Show Me Japan, as hosted by Budget Trouble. You are welcome.


 


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Although I did not understand much of what happened during the wedding ritual itself, the feeling and tone was really beautiful: reverent, quiet, reflective, zen, if you will. Only having experience with Western and Chinese weddings, I found the silence and the sedate pace of the proceedings remarkable. And beautiful. 


 


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The wedding took place inside a beautiful Shinto Shrine; a little gem nestled in the heart of an industrial part of the city, near the port. It was officiated by a priest who was assisted by two girls. 


 


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we arrived, there was a set of benches prepared for the guests to sit prepared with a beautiful sake cup and a wooden tray. The couple sat in font of the alter, with the priest off to the side. There was much standing, sitting, and occasional kneeling. 


 


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The priest recited blessings, and used what looked like a gigantic feather duster to purify the couple (I presume). After, his assistants served sake.


 


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Both the bride and groom dressed in traditional costumes, which are simply wonderful. Much more beautiful and joyous than Western white. But the hair. I tell you! I did not realize, but to get the kind of height and volume required, you have to stuff the hair with something that looks like black cotton batting.


 


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After, we all drank champagne and celebrated. And then I went home, had a piece of cheese, and spent the whole night barfing. True story


 


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Now, for some pictures of Japan that are actually good, check out Budget Trouble's great photo meme.


 


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