Traditional Japanese Wedding Gifts

Written by catherine hiles
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Japanese weddings have many traditions, not the least of which includes the giving of gifts. Some gifts will be given before the wedding and some at the reception. Engagement gifts are given by families at a time known as "Yui-no," which means for families to dine and drink together. These gifts are given to wish the couple a happy and prosperous marriage. Some examples of traditional Japanese wedding gifts follow.

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Kimono and Skirt

Both the bride and groom traditionally wear kimono at their wedding. Prior to the wedding, the families will give the bride a traditional sash known as an "obi." This sash is worn with a kimono and represents female virtue. The "hakama skirt," a man's kimono, is a gift for the groom and it represents fertility.

Food and Herbs

Some examples of food gifts given to the couple include dried cuttlefish and dried bonito. Both items are thought to bring the couple a lasting marriage. Hemp is also given to wish the couple many years of happy marriage to come, as well as a strong family.


Money, or "oshugi," is traditionally given as a gift at a Japanese wedding. Cash gifts are placed in special envelopes called "shugi-bukuro," on the front of which guests write their names. When gifting money to newlyweds, guests are expected to use new bills; to do otherwise would be impolite. The average amount given at a Japanese wedding is 30,000 yen, which is approximately £162, but the amount varies depending on the guest's closeness to the marrying couple.

Sake Cask

A sake, or wine cask, is a traditional wedding gift in Japan which symbolises the guest's obedience to the happy couple's relationship.

A Fan

A fan, or "suehiro," symbolises the guest's happiness towards the couple's marriage.

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