Omiai and Miai-gekkon, Arranged Marriages in Japan

Miai-gekkon, arranged marriages is still a prevailing custom in Japan. Miai-gekkon is an alternative to love marriage, which seems to be ideal for some. However, the marriage proposal known as omiai has many benefits that are still considered worthy.

One is that through omiai person can learn many facts about large numbers of potential partners. Although one can accept the proposal, one can refuse also without having to face the embarassing situation.

Also, omiai includes parents into making the selection so they really can't complain later. And perhaps most importantly, omiai eliminates the need for seeking the right one and being perhaps rejected. Many men in Japan choose omiai because of this. It is even sometimes heard from man in Japan that "dating would be so uncomfortable because I would have to figure out so many things".

The process of omiai begins by contacting nakodo, a go-between. Nakodo is not a matchmaker and doesn't charge for his/her services. It's just someone who wants to help out of his/her goodwill. In the old times, nakodo was that distant aunt in the family who paid sometimes too much worry of the children's life. This was very clearly displayed in Yasujiro Ozu's movies, especially in Banshun "Late Spring. Nakodo will also sometimes pay part of the cost of the weddings.

The omiai meeting itself is usually a formal meeting in where first the both parties, including their parents have dinner or food together. Sometimes nakodo comes along to this meeting. Most commonly they will wear formal clothes. Some choose to wear kimono and some a western suit. After this they might have coffee or drink.

Then, parents will leave the potential couple to spend some time together, walking in a park or so. What happens then is their choice. Although there might be some pressures from parents, they are free to do what they want. If they choose to get married, then that marriage will be called Miai-gekkon.

Today's Japan, 40% of Japanese women remain unmarried at the age of 29. And now since Japanese women are becoming more self sufficient, having their own jobs and independent lives, it is feared that the marriage rate is reaching alarmingly low. This will naturally have impact for the birth rate, thus making Japanese worried.

Omiai is often portrayed in Japanese TV drama and is seen as a beautiful custom.


i am some what intrested in having an arranged marriage in a couple of years and would like to ask if there is any thing as an arranged marriage in america and if so what are the majore differentses between the amarican version and the omiai of japan?
#1 - Jeffrey - 08/06/2008 - 10:42
No, there is no customs similar to this in America. Most people that do arranged marriages in the US now have it as a family tradition and there is usually a network of people with whom the family keeps in contact with for searching purposes. But Omiai is technically not an arranged marriage by US standards, it is closer to blind dating, seeing as how the bride may refuse an Omiai candidate. :-)
#2 - Christa - 09/30/2008 - 14:56
Any help will do
Hi, I am a white female interested in Asian men. Is there any websites or companies that I can use or contact for information about an omiai with a Japanese man? I can only seem to find sites for white men looking for asian women ... what about white women looking for asian men?

Thanks for any help
#3 - Erin - 02/19/2009 - 02:41
loveo I am taking a class and would like to know if men or women are happier in an arranged japanese marriage.
#4 - jeannie Hubbard - 04/27/2009 - 22:48
men are happier in arranged marriage in the Japan culture (Ant 101)
#5 - Dave - 07/05/2009 - 15:24
marrige proposal form japan
i am 27+ yrs old 5'4"tall sri lankan single guy'iam very kind & genuine person' i like to seeking a girl form 20-24 ages" Genuine replies only
#6 - channa udaya - 01/11/2010 - 01:56
Japan girl
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#7 - Thusitha Deshapriya - 07/01/2010 - 00:51
Japan girl
i am 26 yrs old 5'4 in sri mother is japan she citizen.i like japan girl marry.iam
very kind & lovely & genuine person.i like to seeking a girl form 20-24 ages.I really love you.i am Thusitha
#8 - - 09/02/2010 - 04:14
nice article... hehehe,,,,
#9 - Indonesian guy - 09/10/2010 - 12:55
i want an asain man
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#11 - emma obyno - 10/13/2010 - 04:14
Ah, I wish for an omai someday but alas being in America in a major obstacle. I am learning Japanese in school and plan on obtaining a work Visa in Japan. Spouse visa's in Japan are kind of difficult to obtain as you get asked many personal questions so I'd reccomend meetins someone and getting to know them before tossing out marriage proposals....
#12 - Kajima - 12/14/2010 - 11:08
I am 28 years old young boy, doing PhD in Japan. My forefathers were from India. Before my PhD I worked in Dubai & Thailand. Intrested ladies can contact me
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#14 - Dinesh edirisinghe - 02/17/2011 - 06:02
i am 38 yrs old 5'7' in Bngladesh.I am working as a exucutive director in Japanese brands product distributer in Bangladesh .I Would like japan women marry.iam very kind & lovely & genuine person.i like to seeking a girl form 30-35 ages.I really love japanese women. +88 01711542692
#15 - Md. Waliul Haider - 03/26/2012 - 03:19
Marrage Proposal for Japanese girl....
I am 34 yrs old 5'2 in sri lanka.I like to marry a japanese girl. I am
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I really love her. I am Channa pls contact me on
#16 - Channa Kalupahana - 04/16/2012 - 07:45
u need young girl for marriage
#17 - sukhraj sandhu - 11/02/2014 - 01:48
E-mail (Will not appear online)
;-) :-) :-D :-( :-o >-( B-) :oops: :-[] :-P
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