What is “Omiai” in Japan?



Miai is the first formal meeting between a man and a woman who are seeking marriage partners. A go-between arranges the miai and fixes the date and place. The man and woman later report their impressions of the other indirectly through that person. A marriage arranged through miai is called miai-kekkon (an arranged marriage). Thus having a good photo of oneself is very important when it comes to miai. “Miai-shashin” is a photo taken for introduction to a prospective spouse. If your brother had an arranged marriage, you can say, “Ani ha miai-kekkon desu.” But asking if your boss had an arranged marriage or not can be impolite.

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