Sunday, June 22, 2008


Last week I attended the wedding of a friend from Karuizawa basketball days. I hadn't met her husband until that day, but considering he quit his job and moved back to Kariuzawa and found a new job just so he could marry her, I figured he must be a pretty good guy. Seems it is true!

The wedding was held in a wedding chapel at a wedding 'club.' The chapel was a nice simple little wooden building. It was next to the main building, connected by a bridge through the woods. Very Karuizawa.

Although neither of them are Christians a pastor performed the ceremony for them. We sang "Joyful, Joyful" and "What a Friend we have in Jesus." Somehow that has become known as the Christian hymn here in Japan. The friend I was sitting by and I cried when she walked down the aisle with her dad and when the couple was introduced.

Then we headed back to the main building for the reception. We milled around for a few minutes, found our seats and prepared for the toast. Then the couple arrived in lovely kimonos.

And then the food started! The food was amazing! The servings were just the right size so that you could eat everything without having to be rolled out of the building.

Sometime between the fish and the meat course the couple left and returned in their original wedding clothes. Since Yoko likes to eat we were a little concerned because all of her food was just sitting there waiting to be eaten. She was true to form and ate as much as she could as quickly as possible before standing up for the next requirement, a letter to the parents.

The reception ended with the parents standing on one side of the room and the couple on the other side while Yoko read a letter she had written to her parents. As you can imagine, everyone teared up!

But then, her dad made it worse! When the couple walked over with the biggest bunch of flowers I've ever seen and gave them to their moms, Yoko gave the letter to her dad. When he took it from her he grabbed her in the biggest bear hug I've ever seen a Japanese person give and audibly cried. If anyone had survived the reading of the letter without crying, that was the last straw, there was not a dry eye in the place after that!

Then we all rushed home to change clothes for the second party. It was held at the same place-convenient for me-which is unusual. We ate more food, had more drinks-I really liked the blueberry juice!-and played Bingo. We played for some of the best prizes I've ever seen at a bingo game-I got a Starbucks gift card. One gal got an overnight trip to a hot spring, another person got a Disneyland one day passport, and one guy got a Nintendo DS!

Besides all of that, each person got a bag of goodies to take home from the wedding. It included two boxes. One was Karuizawa cheesecake-which didn't have to be refrigerated, a little suspect to me-and the other box was a catalog. You got to go through the catalog and choose what gift you wanted! I chose Japanese pottery:)

It was a fun event! I got to see several friends and meet new people. I also got to go to the candle shop and bagel shop! It was a good trip! (Even if I did come home with a cold!)


sampler said...

Hello Shan, I am a Christian in Japan and I was interested to read your write up about the wedding -- it looked great.

Do you think that the preference for a western male to preside at these Japanese events is reinforcing the myth that Christianity is a foreign religion?

Do you think that the couple actually engaged in the prayers and hope that the priest's blessings come to pass?

--- or was it just cosplay?

McMGrad89 said...

Shan I think it sounds like a beautiful event. It was good to hear from you about the A/C. Things are okay here now. Dad had been in the hospital for two weeks, (complication of chemo) but he is home now...feeling better.

Keep sharing.