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Widow and Remarriage

Moskevyu

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Hello Everyone,

I am having a tough time finding information on this topic, so I am posting here.

I am curious about remarriage for a widow. I am presently working on a story about a widow who marries a Japanese national and a traditionalist. She is a 2nd generation Japanese American and a former Christian, but not converted to Buddhism or Shinto. Both are in their early 40's and they met hile he was in the US. He brings her to Japan to marry at his home temple. He is previously unmarried. She has one child.

1) Is a Shinto ceremony available to her, or is this only an option for first-time brides? If so, would she still don white, or would she default to a short sleeve formal kimono of choice? Would she need any other changes to her dress per tradition?

2) Is there a change in ceremony since she is not a first-time bride? Would she need to convert to marry at the temple?

3) Does her child have a role in the ceremony or festivities, or is she treated as a family guest?

4) Does she need to break ties with her former husband's family in order to remarry, or are they considered an extension of her biological family?

5) What would be a realistic sequence of events for this couple's wedding?

Thank you very much for your help and patience with me. I am new to this subject matter and I look forward to learning as much as I can.
 

Mike Cash

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The chances he would give a crap one way or the other what her religion is are very low.

By far faux Christian weddings at faux Christian chapels are more popular and common in Japan, regardless of what the couple's religious beliefs are, if they even have any at all.

Anybody who wants to pay for doing one can have a Shinto wedding if they want.

A "temple" is a Buddhist facility; Shinto has shrines. The religious waters in Japan can get rather muddy, but that one distinction is clear.

Since her former in-laws are the grandparents of her child, it would be unreasonable to expect a total breaking of contact, don't you think? At any rate, it sounds like you're going to have her living across the ocean from them.

A second generation Japanese-American is an American. You shouldn't assume they are Japanese who just happen to live outside Japan. Especially as regards linguistic ability, Japanese literacy, dietary habits, cultural familiarity, etc. Of course, since you're creating the story you can adjust those factors however you wish.

How is it that this American widow carne to be marrying some guy in Japan? What's the backstory on that?
 

WonkoTheSane

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A friend of mine describes himself as traditional and what he means is that he thinks his wife should take care of the home, take care of the kids, make bentos, and so on. I don't think he really associates traditionalism with religion.
 

Mike Cash

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Were the replies helpful to you? Do you need any clarification? Do you have any follow-up questions?
 
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It must be frustrating to put that much thought into answering a question, then have the person who asked it disappear with nary a thank you. I have to wonder how seriously to take new posters who just drop in to ask questions. Maybe I'll make them prove up on forum membership before giving them my own attention.
 

Moskevyu

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Yes, it's really frustrating for the asker to get such a condescending response when making an effort to write a story with some authenticity. I didn't come here for attitudes and that's why I didn't respond.
 

Mike Cash

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In what way were the replies condescending? I answered your questions in complete earnestness.
 

mdchachi

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If you stick around and try to avoid reading into the "tone" of people's responses you will find a lot of good info here.

Generally speaking you can get a Shinto or Buddhist ceremony performed for money. It's not at all like Judeo-Christian religions where you need to profess some sort of faith. Not sure on the clothing question. My guess would be that there no limitation on what she could wear or changes in ceremony. Weddings in Japan are treated as events and big photo opportunities typically. Even the "religious" ones.

Here's a Buddhist wedding "remarriage" plan. (You can use Chrome/translate to browse it).
再婚ウェディングプラン|木寺宮瑞鳳庵で結婚式 - ぐるなびウエディング
Also here's a site about second weddings in general.
再婚カップルの結婚式ノウハウ|マイナビウエディング
It mentions the role of children but not in the context of a shrine or temple wedding.

The most realistic thing for the story would be not to follow this traditional wedding format.
But I suppose if you made into some kind of family tradition where generations of this guy's family have been married at a specific shrine or temple it could make sense.
 
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