How to Exchange Yui No Gifts Before a Japanese Wedding

Part of a traditional Japanese wedding, Yui-no is a family dinner before the ceremony that celebrates the couple's engagement and the union between the couple's respective families. The Yui-no is typically scheduled on a day considered "lucky" by the Japanese almanac. A series of 9 gifts are traditionally exchanged between the couple during Yui-no, after the bride is presented with an obi (kimono sash) and the groom with a hakama (man's skirt) as symbols of purity and fidelity. Each Yui-no gift symbolizes a particular sentiment about the marriage that is to follow. The gifts are exchanged in a ritual order, as described in the steps below.

Steps

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    Exchange the "Naga-Noshi." "Naga-Noshi" are abalone shells. The shells express good wishes in Japanese culture and are used as decorative ornaments.
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    Exchange the money. The money is typically wrapped in a decorative envelope called a "shugi-bukuro," which is kept closed by knotted string. The traditional amount of money in the envelope is $5,000; giving only two bills is considered bad luck.
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    Exchange the "Katsuo-Bushi." "Katsuo-Bushi" is dried tuna, a common preserved food ingredient used to make soup stock. The ingredient can be found in a number of traditional Japanese dishes. "Katsuo Bushi" represents the wish for a lasting marriage.
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    Exchange the "Surume." "Surume" is dried cuttlefish. It is given to wish the couple a lasting marriage.
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    Exchange the "Konbu." "Konbu" is seaweed that is given to bring the couple numerous healthy and healthy children.
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    Exchange the "Shiraga." "Shiraga," meaning "white hair," is hemp. The strong fibers of the hemp represent solid family ties.
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    Exchange the "Suehiro" or "Hakusen." Both terms refer to a folded fan given to the couple as a wish for a better future and happiness.
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    Exchange the "Yanagi-Daru." Traditionally, a wine cask is given for this gesture. However, money to be used for sake can act as a substitute.
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    Exchange the sake casks. This gesture calls for sake casks that are made from "yui-no," which are willow trees with soft leaves. The casks represent gentleness and obedience in marriage.

Tips

  • "Mokuroku" is a formal list of all the gifts given during Yui-no. The list itself is sometimes included in the gift-giving process.
  • The Yui-no ritual is often preceded by the "Yuimono" ritual, in which the groom brings sakes and relish to the bride's home. The action represents the connection between both of their families.
  • Traditionally, both families need to consent to the couple's engagement in order for a Yui-no dinner to commence.

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Categories: Weddings