Is Long Hair Bad Manners? How to greet the parents of a marriage partner nowadays | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Is Long Hair Bad Manners? How to greet the parents of a marriage partner nowadays

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Kei Komuro also cut her hair to say hello… Is long hair still not good enough?

Kei Komuro returned to Japan for the first time in three years. At that time, it was her ponytail-like hairstyle that drew attention.

I thought he would keep this hairstyle for his wedding greeting, but on October 18, on his way to Prince Akishino’s residence, Mr. Komuro cut off his hair. I wondered if it would be a bad idea for her to greet the couple with long hair.

“I guess Mr. Komuro thought about it in his own way so as not to be rude to his partner. The most important part of the wedding greeting is to make the other party’s parents feel good about you. It is a good idea to ask your partner’s parents in advance what they would like to see.

Ms. Nobuko Iwashita, president of the Institute of Contemporary Etiquette, says, “When Ms. Komuro was born, it was 30 years ago.

“Until about 30 years ago, when Ms. Komuro was born, it was unthinkable to go to the wedding with long hair or a beard. If a person has a proper job, it is normal for him to have short hair and a clean shave. If you had long hair and a beard, your parents must have felt uneasy.

The clothes were suits. In a Western-style room, you were supposed to get up from your chair, and in a Japanese-style room, you were supposed to get off your cushion and say, “I would like to marry you.

“A suit is formal wear for men. A suit is a man’s formal wear, and the way you dress is supposed to show respect for your partner. It was common to wear a suit when greeting one’s parents.”

Kei Komuro leaves his parents’ apartment in Yokohama City to greet Prince and Princess Akishino (October 18, 2021 / Photo: Kyodo News)

It all started with Kyoko Koizumi!

In order to show respect to business partners and others, it was normal to wear a suit at work until a while ago. However, as part of the reformation of work styles, even uptight companies such as banks have started to allow people to work without ties or in casual clothes.

When did wedding greetings become casual?

“I think it probably started around the time when ‘sober weddings’ became popular.

However, when Masatoshi Nagase and Kyoko Koizumi got married in 1995, they did not have a ceremony, but just registered their marriage. This event gave rise to the term “sober marriage,” which was featured in many magazines.

“It was around this time that people started to stop wearing suits when they greeted their spouses. If you wear a jacket, you can wear a polo shirt and chinos. After the greeting, you can take off the jacket. The wedding greeting is the first step in getting to know each other. It will be a long time before you get to know each other, so it is best for both you and your parents to take it easy.

How long is your hair and beard?

“Even if you work a normal job nowadays, you may have long hair or a beard. As long as the other parent doesn’t mind, long hair and beards are fine.

Noriko’s father also has long hair and a beard, and Prince Akishino also has a beard. So it may be that the family is tolerant of such things.

However, some people might be surprised. Children are the ones who know their parents’ personalities the best. If you think that they will be surprised if they meet you out of the blue, it would be a good idea to show them a picture of you beforehand and say, “This is the kind of person I am. If you don’t find out the parents’ personalities and think about how you can make them happy, it would be a waste of a great meeting.

Kei Komuro returns from his stay in the U.S. (Narita Airport on the afternoon of September 27, 2021/Photo: Afro)

Remote greetings at the Corona disaster…

But is a wedding greeting necessary in the first place? If you’ve been dating for a long time, and you’ve been going back and forth to each other’s houses, and your parents think that you’re going to marry her, is there any need to go and say hello again?

“No, no, no. No. It’s important to make a clear distinction. Even if you’ve known each other since childhood and have been family friends since you were little, I think it’s still a good idea to go and say hello.

In the past, you would go to the other person’s house and ask for their daughter, but nowadays, there is no manual that says you have to do this, so you can have a dinner party or whatever you feel is right for both of you. During the Corona disaster, some parents did not want to meet in person, so they had to meet remotely.

“However, the purpose of visiting them at home is to know where they grew up. If possible, visiting each other’s homes is preferable.

Legally, you don’t need your parents’ permission to get married, but you still need to say, “Let me marry you.

Finally, it’s time to greet your parents. What kind of words are appropriate?

In general, you should say something like, “Please let me marry your daughter,” or “Will you allow me to marry her?


On November 30, 2020, his 55th birthday, Prince Akishino said, “The Constitution of Japan also states that marriage shall be based solely on the consent of both parties, and if that is how the couple feels, I believe that as parents we should respect that.

If they feel that way, as parents we should respect that.

“It’s not enough to say, ‘I’m getting married. If you say, ‘I’m going to get married,’ it gives the impression that you are neglecting your parents. Japanese people like to be humble, so it’s better to say something like this.

When greeting someone, it is traditional manners to stand up from a chair in a Western-style room or get off a cushion in a Japanese-style room.

“But nowadays, many parents don’t seem to care about such things. Nowadays, many parents don’t seem to care about such things, and you won’t get raised eyebrows if you sit on a chair or a zabuton.

However, if you know what you’re doing, you should do it. The more neatly you do it, the more sincere the parents will feel about their partner. My daughter’s marriage partner used to come to our house to visit, but he would come in wearing a suit and get up from his chair to greet us. As a parent, it made me happy to see that he was serious about marriage. I thought it was really cool.

The times have changed, but in the end, if you do things the way they were done in the past, there is no doubt. From long hair to short hair with slightly longer bangs… Was Mr. Komuro’s decision the right one?

Nobuko Iwashita studied etiquette under Muneteru Uchida of the All Japan Manners Association and Kiyonobu Ogasawara of the Ogasawara School, and established the Institute of Modern Etiquette in 1985. As a manner designer, she teaches, trains, lectures and writes about manners for companies, schools, chambers of commerce and industry, public organizations, etc. She is a director and consultant of the NPO Manners Education Support Association. He is the author of many books, including “New Common Sense in Wedding and Funeral Etiquette” and “Illustrated Guide to Japanese Manners.

  • Interview and text by Izumi Nakagawa Photo Kyodo News, Afro

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