Japanese Marriage



1001 - 1500

Marriage itself became a central means of officially or ceremonially cementing alliances.

Meiji Period

1868 - 1912

Arranged marriages (omiai) spread through all classes of Japanese society.

Average Marriage Age


Women were often married by the age of 16.

Meiji Civil Code


Emperor introduced a constitution called the 'Meiji Civil Code' which severely limited womens rights. According to the law women who were unfaithful would be immediately divorced but men would only suffer a little for their actions.

Family System


The family system ('ie') as part of the legal system was abolished.

Average Marriage Age


For women the average marriage age was 27 and a half years old but for men it was around 30 years old.