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Description:This original copper-plate engraved antique print of a Japanese Marriage Ceremony during the early Edo period of Japanese history, by Arnoldus Montanus was published in the 1669 edition of Gedenkwaerdige Gesantschappen der Oost-Indische Maetschappy int Vereenigde Nederland, aen de Kaisaren van Japan. Getrokken uit de Geschriften en Reiseaentekeninge der zelver Gesanten (Atlas Japannensis being remarkable addresses by way of Embassy from the East India Company of the United Provinces, to the Emperor of Japan)
General Definitions:Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stablePaper color : - off whiteAge of map color: -Colors used: -General color appearance: -Paper size: - 15in x 12in (380mm x 305mm)Plate size: - 13in x 10in (330mm x 255mm)Margins: - Min 1in (20mm)
Imperfections:Margins: - NonePlate area: - NoneVerso: - None
Background: Marriage in the Edo period (1600–1868)In pre-modern Japan, marriage was inextricable from the ie (家, family or household), the basic unit of society with a collective continuity independent of any individual life. Members of the household were expected to subordinate all their own interests to that of the ie, with respect for an ideal of filial piety and social hierarchy that borrowed much from Confucianism. The choice to remain single was the greatest crime a man could commit, according to Baron Hozumi.Marriages were duly arranged by the head of the household, who represented it publicly and was legally responsible for its members, and any preference by either principal in a marital arrangement was considered improper. Property was regarded to belong to the ie rather than to individuals, and inheritance was strictly agnatic primogeniture. A woman (女) married the household (家) of her husband, hence the logograms for yome (嫁, wife) and yomeiri (嫁入り, marriage, lit. wife entering).In the absence of sons, some households would adopt a male heir (養子, or yōshi) to maintain the dynasty, a practice which continues in corporate Japan. Nearly all adoptions are of adult men. Marriage was restricted to households of equal social standing (分限), which made selection a crucial, painstaking process. Although Confucian ethics encouraged people to marry outside their own group, limiting the search to a local community remained the easiest way to ensure an honorable match. Approximately one-in-five marriages in pre-modern Japan occurred between households that were already related.Outcast communities such as the Burakumin could not marry outside of their caste, and marriage discrimination continued even after an 1871 edict abolished the caste system, well into the twentieth century. Marriage between a Japanese and non-Japanese person was not officially permitted until 14 March 1873, a date now commemorated as White Day. Marriage with a foreigner required the Japanese national to surrender his or her social standing.The purposes of marriage in the medieval and Edo periods was to form alliances between families, to relieve the family of its female dependents, to perpetuate the family line, and, especially for the lower classes, to add new members to the family\'s workforce. The seventeenth-century treatise Onna Daigaku (Greater Learning for Women) instructed wives honor their parents-in-law before their own parents, and to be courteous, humble, and conciliatory towards their husbands.Husbands were also encouraged to place the needs of their parents and children before those of their wives. One British observer remarked, If you love your wife you spoil your mother\'s servant. The tension between a housewife and her mother-in-law has been a keynote of Japanese drama ever since.Romantic love (愛情, aijō) played little part in medieval marriages, as emotional attachment was considered inconsistent with filial piety. A proverb said, Those who come together in passion stay together in tears. For men, sexual gratification was seen as separate from conjugal relations with ones wife, where the purpose was procreation. The genre called Ukiyo-e (浮世絵, lit. floating world pictures) celebrated the luxury and hedonism of the era, typically with depictions of beautiful courtesans and geisha of the pleasure districts. Concubinage and prostitution were common, public, relatively respectable, until the social upheaval of the Meiji Restoration put an end to feudal society in Japan.