This November, Akemi and I will be attending her sister’s wedding in Tokyo. This will be our first Japanese wedding and, apparently, they’re full of customs covering everything from the particulars of the varied gift envelopes and their requisite knots (don’t make an ass of yourself by tying a Hanamusubi instead of a Musubikiri!) to the proper etiquette of cash gifts (don’t curse the happy couple on their wedding day by giving them an even number of bills!). Akemi started studying up earlier this week and is already overwhelmed. I am, of course, a simple foreigner so not much is expected of me outside of the obvious: making sure my money gift contains an odd number of bills presented in the proper envelope with a Musubikiri knot, no catcalls during the tea ceremony, and, perhaps most importantly, don’t show off your awesome dance skills. Oh, and dress appropriately! In Akemi’s case, she’ll be wearing a kimono for the ceremony, then switching to a fancy dress for the reception. Last week, Akemi’s dad emailed me to ask what I would be wearing to the wedding (no doubt double-checking to make sure I don’t show up in jeans and a Neon Genesis Evangelion t-shirt). He offered me a choice between a dark suit or a men’s kimono. I can rent the latter at the hotel and the staff will dress me. Now THAT’S service! I wonder if they’ll feed me for a little extra charge?
I considered the pros and cons. Pro: It would be great blog material. Con: I’d look like an utter douchebag. I responded to Akemi’s dad and informed him I’d be going with the dark suit. He emailed back: “Ok. I think it is better for you.” I could almost hear him breathe a sigh of relief.
So, yes, I decided to go with the dark suit. But after some consideration, I wondered if I was too quick to dismiss a great opportunity to celebrate Japanese culture in my own special way. Yes, the kimono is one way to go – but there are many others.
Here is a quick rundown of the possible outfits guaranteed to make me stand out on someone else’s special day. Check ’em out, then weigh in with your thoughts!
And some more causal but no less striking fashions via www.japanesestreets.com:
So, whaddya think?