Japanese marriages and funerals are considered to be some of the most expensive in the world. This has been a traditional practice for all people of different backgrounds. In recent studies, though, many of the younger generations are becoming more skeptical about these traditions. Concern about monetary issues remained a key discussion point.
Multiple studies have shown that at least one-third of Japanese students interviewed in universities don’t want to get married. More than half of those who did even want to skip the marriage ceremony. It seems like Japanese society is becoming more frugal in regard to these ceremonies. Regarding funerals, only 12% of the respondents said that they would like to have a funeral held for them. Most of those asked said they would depend on their family’s decision, while 33.6% agreed on cremation without funerals.
The number one factor affecting the respondents’ decision is the monetary issue. Due to the economy’s condition, employment is becoming scarce and salaries are shrinking. With this thought on hand, it becomes a practical reason to forego expensive ceremonies. Another reason is the increase in consumption tax which basically affects every commodity in Japan. When you’re paying so much for your necessities, marrying in the traditional sense becomes less likely and a funeral ceremony becomes less of an option.
Some respondents say that is it better to spend money for travel rather than traditional ceremonies. Some also think it is not practical anymore and just a waste of money. Starting married life with a wedding is also more difficult when the money is only borrowed. On the lighter side, some say that holding a wedding ceremony is something you do for your parents to be proud of while holding a funeral is paying respect to the departed and also a way of saying goodbye.
Though several people actually disagree on the traditional wedding and funeral ceremonies in Japan, it may still important for some people to find ways in preserving such traditions. It would be better if more options became available in the future so those who truly wish for a wedding ceremony do not miss out on something they have always wanted.