Omiai - Introduction

Introduction

Before the miai occurs, the parties scrutinize each other’s pictures to prevent future rejection. Although candidates rely on their photographs and resumes (rirekisho) in the modern miai process, an older custom known as "kagemi” (hidden look) was once employed. Kagemi occurred when a potential male candidate attempted to catch a glimpse of the female in secret. The objective of the kagemi was to prevent embarrassing denials based on appearances. The miai itself is a casual meeting between the potential couple, the nakōdo, and the parents of both parties. The nakōdo will determine the place and format of the meeting.

The miai is just as much an opportunity for parents to survey the bride/groom as the couple themselves. The meeting begins with an informal introduction between the two families by the nakōdo. The introduction is often followed by small talk between the parents. Occasionally, the conversation will shift to one of the potential candidates. Toward the end of the meeting, the potential couple will be advised to go off spend some time alone to get better acquainted.

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