Traditional Japanese Wedding Gifts

Happy Bride and Groom dressed up in Kimono

Satoshi-K/iStock/Getty Images

Many modern Japanese couples are opting to wear Western wedding attire and exchange wedding rings. But traditional Japanese wedding gifts are still in favor. Each gift, which has a special meaning, is presented with respect and good wishes for the happy couple.

The Yui-No -- Engagement Dinner Gifts

Most of the gifts are presented at the Yui-no, a formal dinner given for the families of the engaged couple. Traditionally, the bride-to-be receives an obi, a decorative kimono sash representing virtue. The prospective groom is given a hakama skirt, which signifies fidelity. Other gifts include dried fish, dried seaweed, hemp, wine and saki casks and Suehiro fans.

Goshugi -- Gift Money

The traditional wedding gift is cash. “Goshugi” means gift money, and it must be presented in a special decorative envelope called a goshugi-bukuro. The money should not have any creases or stains, since new, clean money shows respect. The amount given depends on your relationship with the couple. The envelopes are deposited at a designated table at the reception.

Gifts for Wedding Guests

A gift bag, called the hikidemono, is placed at every guest's seat at the reception banquet.The bag contains either gifts or gift catalogs where guests can choose their own items and have them delivered. It also contains traditional confections called hikigashi, creatively decorated, bite-sized sweets in different flavors.