Cultures In Comparison: Japan Versus The United States

2263 words - 10 pages

Monica Symonette
Human Sexuality Education HSC3133
Cultures in Comparison: Japan versus the United States
Friday April 12, 2013

Introduction
Sexuality is definitely a major component of life. Without recognizing the importance of sexuality, no one would exist. The most transparent way to define sexuality is the properties that distinguish organisms based on their reproductive roles. When referring to sexuality, many components must be considered such as geographic locations, religion, culture, moral, and ethical values. Culture may be one of the most significant influences on sexuality, since it characterizes a group of people by religion, cuisine, language, and social habits. ...view middle of the document...

The ideal age to get married has varied from culture to culture. Also, the concept of separating after marriage, divorce, has become fairly popular. Within most marriage vows it states, “Until death do we part.” Now many people are parting way before death.
Marriage ceremonies in Japan are full of the culture and tradition. The Sake ceremony is a very traditional wedding custom where the bride and groom sip sake from three different porcelain cups and then offer to their parents. Sake is an alcoholic drink made from fermented rice. Most of these weddings are small and private. Modern brides wear white wedding gowns that symbolize a new beginning and the extremely traditional brides wear kimonos with white face make-up, red lips and a wig. Other traditions include the bride and groom lighting a candle at every table and only receiving Oshugi as a gift which is cash (worldly weddings). Japan is most times referred to as a late marriage and low-fertility society. The average age at first marriage was 30.7 years for males and 29.0 years for women. The average age at first marriage has risen over the past few decades and is responsible for the decrease in birth rates. Also, the marriage rate has decreased over the years and still is decreasing. Two years ago, the marriage rate was estimated at 5.2 per 1,000 total population. According to UPI.com, the average number in a household is about 5 people and the average household income was $67,613 in 2010. Recently, divorce rates in Japan were estimated at 1 percent per 1,000 total population according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (Population, 2011). Divorce in Japan is associated with the economic stress since the average household income has decreased over the years. Today that is considered extremely low when compared to the United States.
The United States is home to a variety of people and cultures that practice very different lifestyles. Although there are many different people that practice different cultures in the United States, there are still some common traditional wedding traditions. Most traditional weddings include, most brides wear a white wedding dress with a veil, bridal bouquet, a gang of bridesmaids and groomsmen, bachelor’s and bachelorette parties, bridal showers, flower girls, ring bearers, garters, wedding receptions, and of course a huge wedding cake. Some brides always stick to an extremely old tradition of wearing something old, new, borrowed, and blue on their wedding day for good luck. Traditions at the wedding reception include the bride throwing her bouquet in a group of single women and the groom throwing the bride’s garter into a group of single men. Whoever catches these items are predicted to get married next. Many times brides will include traditions from their culture into their weddings if they have families from different cultures. For example, a Jewish couple may have an American wedding but still break the...

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