Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Christian Wedding vs. Shinto Wedding in Japan

Shinto Shrine

I just finished watching Kevin Costner's film "The Postman." It always seems to fill me up with patriotism. My brother says it's too thick on the melodrama, but it has to be. Otherwise it wouldn't be enjoyable. It's too bad that when this film came out that everyone had started black listing Kevin old bean... because the film is actually quite good indeed.

Well, anyway --that came out of left field. Recently I got asked about what I plan to do for a wedding when I marry my Japanese fiance. About the wedding plans... I intend to do a traditional Japanese style Shinto wedding, and afterward have a brief Christian style reception with a tux and white gown dress for her. We'll do the full tradition male/female kimono dress, have a Shinto priest wed us in Japan. Aterward we will then go downtown to fill out all the legal paperwork, have a hotel reception and put on our western attire, read our vows, have cake, and take everyone singing karaoke downtown. At least that's how I see it.

The Japanese are fond of western styled weddings, and they like big expensive Church weddings, but it's more of a status trend and mega opus of an event rather than a traditional religous custom. I want to have both because to me uniting my family and hers with shared understanding says more than just following the present trend. I'm taking her into my life and visa versa, plus I am fond of the 5,000 year old customs of Japan. They're just plain awesome in my opinion. We're still planning such a big event. Nither of our families speak the other languages, so we have more to consider than just ceremony. We have to figure out how to unite two cultures and races, and hiring a translator is only the first step.

Lots of my hardcore *Christian friends get shocked when I inform them that it was MY choice to do the Shinto wedding. They ask me strange questions like, "But if she's not Christian then...?" and "But if your Christian why would you have a Shinto...?" and "I'd never marry anyone that wasn't a Christian" among other strange comments. I always reply with, "I chose to respect her culture and customs because I respect her, and that's what someone does out of love," and "She may not be Christian, but I won't impose my ideas on her and force her into an unhappy union of bondage" and to those who won't marry any but another Christian I say, "I would never want to marry a Christian who wanted to change me, enslave me, force me to think his/her way without reguard for my own culture. And I could never love someone who couldn't love me for who I am."

As you can tell I get really defensive over my true love. You see, I can't tolerate these pseudo Christians who practice elitism, uncompromising ritual, self righteous, and customs of political ideologies backed by corrupted denominations only to point out in all indignation that I'm not practicing "Christianity." Say what? Any Christian who can't love freely without prejudice is no Christian in my book. They may call themselves such, but until we all open our hearts and learn to love they way Christ taught, we'll only be less than a great man. How can a Christian who doesn't follow the teachings of Christ call himself a Christian? Christ said love each other like brothers. I have no need for bigots to tell me how I should live my life or judge the way I choose to love. Not when their minds and hearts are closed.

Rant finished. As I have found out, being in a multi-racial international relationship causes for unique situations. There is some prejudice which comes from both sides, but we are lucky. Our families support us and our decision. Yet, it still surprises me how myopic certain people's world views can be. Sometimes this is lack of knowledge, sometimes it's imposed social constructs and ideologies, and sometimes it's just cruel people. Learning to navigate this, and learning to be a minority in Japan, have all been valuable lessons for me. Mostly lessons of patience, but I've learned a great deal more of tolerance toward my fellow mankind because of it.

Well, I tend to write lots. I had nothing to do tonight so I just went on and on. I'm probably getting boring now. It's late, or early (?), and so I shall bid you all adieu and adios.


Lady Hope said...



you are really really really COOL…

you really touched me with that strong powerful words.

I really want now to marry someone from other side of this world!!
I'm not kidding….! :)

I love the multiracial marriages…
I love the mingling of cultures and races…it give us wonderful and unique international flavor.

You are really awesome Muffin Man!
Sorry for my " Previous" negative thoughts about you!
Now, I really Love you
'Sure as a brother' :)

Now I think I was right to keep your Blog among my Fav Blogs!

Wish you endless happiness with sweet Sayaka.

****Kisses ****

Lady Hope said...

By the way, Shinto Shrine looks fabulous .

I can't wait to go to Japan!

Hope that will be as soon as possible!

Tristan Vick said...

There are many ways to go to Japan. I'm going over on JET (Japanese Exchange Teaching) program. But you can also go over as a student, study abroad, work abroad internship, or research grant.

The great thing about Japan, is they sponsor cultural interaction and they always love learning about other types of people. This is one of the funnest things about Japan, because when you're there everyone is interested in you and they want to be your friend. Sometimes it's annoying, but most of the time it's a type of cultural mingling and learning experience.

Lady Hope said...

Oh darling

I'm so grateful for these good tips!

I got other ideas, but your ideas will be more interactive and practical.

I don't mind to be the centre of attention…actually, I enjoy this, since I was at school as a little girl I loved to be the one who got the whole attention by classmates and teachers…all of them wanted to talk with me and be a friend of mine!

I just love to be special and make others love me and interested in me….


Anyway, if my plans went as good as I want, I will be able to go to other countries, especially the remote ones. I have a lots of plans, so I should to go step by step to achieve everything correctly and as I wanted to.

Who knows??

Maybe one day I will meet up with you and Sayaka "maybe with little ones in your hand" :)