Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Tokyo Wedding... Pt 6 The Relaxing Begins

Feeling much more relaxed, the couple indulge in some food and drink... actually, there's more than enough drink to be had for the couple, especially the groom who is plied with alcohol during the entire reception from his friends.

Meanwhile, S-chan's friend plays a beautiful piano piece that captivates the room. Music is an integral part of the reception, and often there will even be karaoke machines involved. This is a party after all.

And there's plenty of celebration going on...and plenty of smiles...

One of the treats is that H-kun and S-chan had a number of videos made up. They used to work together in a very prominent Japanese company, and there's plenty of talented friends. One of the videos was a "re-enactment" of their betrothal. They also had a number of video interviews with their families. And a special appearance from a friend over in New York. Overall, it was a multimedia extravaganza... and T-chan's parents loved the video. It must be strange, seeing their son in perhaps a slightly different light.

And speaking of special appearances... there was even an appearance from the magical bouncing balloon man - aka H-kun's former junior, who momentarily stole the show. As I mentioned, Japanese receptions can be quite a production, and there's always a lot of humourous twists and turns.

Here H-kun was asked to hold a decoration (called a kusudama) whilst the above-mentioned ballon-man tried to jump and catch the release string - not an easy task when you don't have arms or hands. After quite a few tries (accompanied by the claps and cheers of the audience) he managed to grab the string between his teeth and pulled... "Gokekkon"... Marriage.

And this of course was merely a prelude to the real purpose - to cheer on H-kun to complete the contract with a kiss, which had (in Japanese-style) been missing so far. Now - one thing you must understand, Japanese of their generation and older are not necessarily into a lot of public display of affection (at least not outside their close friends)... and indeed this was a rare event.

And the effect was somewhat mixed. H-kun reckon's he got a strike, but S-chan's face says it was more like a ball. Not out!.

Now the last hurrah for the formal reception. The speeches. It is traditional for the bride to read out a letter, written to her parents whom she is now leaving officially. These speeches are solemn occasions and are often  real tear-jerker moments, where the daughter thanks her parents for all they have done. Even H-kun has sobered up after the kissing...

Now I have to admit, I was somewhat taken aback when instead of S-chan's parents breaking out into tears, Okaasan and Otousan were the ones that first broke the line, and let the tears run freely. Actually, the whole day was full of tears of joy from them.

Before long, S-chan's proud parents also teared up. It is always a special moment, as their daughter passes from their household into H-kun's. It may be a throwback to older times, but it's meaningful at a deep level.

And then the bride and groom present the parents with special gifts of thanks.

Finally, it's up to Otousan to give the formal speech - welcoming the couple, and S-chan in particular... and unforutnately, Otousan didn't quite make it through before he burst into tears again. It was so enjoyable being part of this very happy moment, but before you knew it, it the formal reception was over.

But this story doesn't quite end there....there's two more posts to go... whew!

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