Photographed in the 1930s, this Japanese woman still wears a kimono in this studio photo. But her hairstyle is thoroughly modern.
This is very likely to have been an omiai photograph. At omiai (お見合い), two single people are introduced to each other to consider marriage. Around the time that this photo was taken, some 70% of Japanese marriages were established through omiai.1
The practice was started among samurai during the 16th century to establish and cement alliances among clans. It later spread to other social classes.
After the end of WWII, the custom of omiai was slowly but surely overtaken by a new custom: love marriages (恋愛, renai). However, even today, between 10 and 30% of Japanese marriages are still born out of omiai.
For more information about modern Japanese women, see 1930s • Woman with Modern Hairdo.
1 古き良きお見合い. お見合いの歴史を紐解く. Retrieved on 2009-05-04.
2 Professor’s House. Arranged Marriages in Japan. Retrieved on 2009-05-04.
Reference for Citations
Duits, Kjeld (). 1930s: Kimono, but Modern Hairstyle, OLD PHOTOS of JAPAN. Retrieved on January 20, 2022 (GMT) from https://www.oldphotosjapan.com/photos/696/woman-in-kimono-and-modern-hairstyle
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