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4.11.12

Japanese Wedding : Manner #1 The envelope, the cash.


Here's the kick-off for the Japanese Wedding Story!! Step #1: Preparing the right present.

Acabo de llegar de mi primera Boda Shinto (rito tradicional Japonés) - repitiendo modelito y estrenando una ganga de Céline a juego con mis Louboutin. Hay mucha historia que contar, empezaremos por el principio: Elegir un sobre con un Mizuhiki adecuado.

Japanese wedding manners are - like everything else in the land of the rising sun - very much elaborated and easy to misunderstand from an expat eye. So let's summarize the rules for Japanese Wedding Present:

1. Japanese Wedding Present = New cash, never give wrinkled notes.
2. Money amount = Odd number of 10.000 JPY (一万) notes
3. 一万 is NOT fine = Minimum per guest is 三万 (30.000) or per couple 五万 (50.000)
4. Money must be put in traditional envelope, with adequate mizuhiki (ribbon knot)
5. For other events (i.e. funerals, babies, new year money) other mizuhiki shall be used.


Los Japoneses son extremadamente formales y protocolarios en general, pero en las bodas llegan al extremo. Tanto es así, que me veo obligada a dividir la historia de la Boda en Japón en tres partes: Los preparativos, el evento y los regalos que cada invitado recibe.

Hoy, aprenderemos cómo quedar bien tras ser invitado a una boda y aceptar:
1. El regalo tiene que ser dinero en efectivo, billetes nuevos (NUNCA arrugados)
2. La cantidad es un múltiplo IMPAR de billetes de 10.000 JPY (一万)
3. 10000 (一万) no es correcto. Lo mínimo, por invitado es 三万 (30.000) o por pareja 五万 (50.000)
4. El dinero no se manda por transferencia, sino que se entrega en un sobre tradicional con el lazo adecuado llamado mizuhiki
* Otros eventos (i.e. funeral, nacimiento) requiren diferentes lazos, de ahí la variedad.

Para sacar dinero 1. todos nos apañamos. Sin embargo, los sobres hay que comprarlos en papelerías gigantes como Loft en Shibuya o Itoya in Ginza. Dirígete a la sección de sobres y encontrarás millones diferentes. La elección no es a gustos, sino que depende básicamente de 2 variables:
- Tipo de evento
- Cantidad de dinero

Para una boda, el lazo adecuado es aquel tan intrincado que no se puede deshacer y volver a hacer, una metáfora de la estabilidad del matrimonio. La lazada (chomisubi) es un tabú a evitar. Si pretendes aportar más de 五万 (500€) elige una grulla, entre 三万 (300€) y 五万 (500€)  un lazo dorado, y menos… Uno rojo que sea simple.

1. Go to the bank, get some new money, as pure as the newlyweds.

2. Take a trip to a huge stationery hub, such as Loft in Shibuya or to Itoya in Ginza. Find a section with very many fancy envelopes. Some, even say "Happy Wedding" but given the invitation said Traditional Shinto Ceremony, so you would like to get a traditional envelope (additionaly, you can also buy a piece of cloth to wrap it and protect it on the way to the wedding).

There are many many, but BEWARE!! 

There is even a guide on envelopes for a good reason, not even Japanese are sure about...



… what to write and how.



…instructions appear useful, but you don't understand a kanji and the odds of getting a local translator are remote.

Luckily, this site kindly points to the solution. Since a wedding is an event which shall not be repeated or undone, the adequate Mizuhiki is that type of knot which is inextricable and requires a scissor, any of those in the picture below, are fine.




On the contrary, because of being easily undone, chomisubi style knot is TABOO (see below what you should NOT buy):



The envelope ribbons are tied in different shapes and use different colors for the knot, indicating the amount inside which nicely links with…

3. If you attend a wedding on your own, make sure to prepare at least 三万. If attending with your couple, then at least 五万. Odd amounts of money are not easy to split (i.e. 40000 is simply divided by taking 2 notes each) and suggest the unbreakable union of the newlyweds.

Knowing the amount, it's easy to pick an adequate ribbon.



The simples for the smallest amounts (which are no longer adequate in weddings). 
The golden, for 三万.



Golden cranes for more than 五万.

Una vez en casa, desempaqueta cuidadosamente el sobre y familiarízate con sus partes:
- Sobre blanco para el dinero
- Tira de papel, donde escribir tu dedicatoria
- Sobre decorativo

En el sobre blanco, introduces el dinero y escribes por la parte de atrás tus datos personales (住所 dirección, 名前 nombre, 電話番号 teléfono). En la parte de delante, escribe 金  y justo debajo la cantidad que acabas de introducir. Ciérralo y recompón el sobre principal. Casi terminado, sólo nos queda la tira. Escribe 寿 en la parte superior y un mensaje personal (si quieres) en la inferior.

Back home, with the envelope. Fun about to start.



4.1. Unwrap and identify the 3 main parts:
- Small white envelope (where money shall be inserted and your personal data written)
- Paper strips (where you should write 寿 and some message)
- The fancy envelope with the mizuhiki



4.2. Insert the money in the white envelope.



4.3. Write your personal details on the back (住所 address, 名前 name, 電話番号 phone number). Write 金 on the front and the amount below.


4.4. Place the white envelope back in the fancy one.



4.5. Fold carefully and close.



4.6. Tadaaa!



Now… Just get on your best attire & pick the JR Yamanote to the Wedding Parlor - everybody takes the train to go to weddings in Tokyo, so join the fun of showing your best look off in the train on Sunday morning!

Ladies, always remember:
- Wear tights
- NO Fur in the Shinto Chapel
- NO white, NO full-black
- Get a mani-pedi for classy hands during the kampai!



Tras el agobio del sobre, sólo queda arreglarte y disfrutar. Las reglas, como en todos lados. Ponte medias (aunque las rompas con la pulsera nada más llegar), ni se te ocurra llevar blanco o pieles de animal a la ceremonia, evita el negro total e invierte en una mani-pedi que siempre queda ideal, para brindar con clase cuando todos griten… Kampai!
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4 comments

Anonymous said...

este articulo me acaba de salvar la vida! menudo lio tenia con el sobre...muchas gracias!!!

dontplayahate said...

Me alegro mucho (・ω・)ノ pasalo genial en la boda!!!!

Amnesiantoinette said...

My brother lives in Japan and is getting married in a few weeks! I really needed this information. Thank you so much!!

Claudia Muñiz Garcia said...

Thank you!!! I am so happy it could be of help. This kind of feedback is what keeps me going, sometimes life gets busy and it's hard to find time for blogging, but knowing it is of help is what motivates me the most! Enjoy the experience, for sure it'll be a memorable event!

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