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Is the wedding bouquet toss a form of harassment? Some Japanese women say 'Yes'

29 Comments
By Dale Roll, SoraNews24

The bouquet toss is a well-known tradition at weddings in the West, and its fame has earned it a spot in Japanese receptions as well. It’s said that the person who catches the bouquet will be the next to get married, so typically unmarried women eagerly gather around the bride in order to be the lucky one to catch it.

But while for some the bouquet toss is a fun tradition, for others, it’s a nightmare. For some, being singled out as a “single lady” in front of a whole party of guests is insulting and embarrassing. This is especially true in Japan, where women are still expected to focus on their predestined roles as housewives and mothers, and being an unmarried woman at an older age implies that you are not being successful in life.

That’s why, for some, being exposed as a “single lady” in front of a large crowd, like during a bouquet toss, is almost a public execution. Some single wedding guests go so far as to say the bouquet toss is “singles harassment”. It’s so hated by single women that, sometimes, when the bride tosses the bouquet, nobody moves to catch it, and it just falls to the floor in a sad puddle of petals.

“It’s just a smug way for the bride to show off,” some women say, while others might add, “Why should we have to suffer such humiliation in front of a crowd when we already have to give the bride and groom 30,000 yen for their wedding gift?”

The opposition has been so strong that many brides in Japan nowadays are forgoing the tradition altogether. When asked in a survey whether they did or plan to do the bouquet toss at their weddings, only 42 percent of brides said yes. In another study, three out of five brides surveyed said they wouldn’t do it either.

Many articles have been written about this issue recently, and Japanese netizens have a lot to say about it, too:

“The bouquet toss is harassment? Everything is harassment these days. It feels like there are more and more negative people who only see the bad parts of things. Or rather, maybe their voices are just the loudest on the Internet.”

“Aren’t people there to celebrate? How sad. The bride and groom invite you because they think you have a good relationship. Why not just skip the reception then?”

“I’m already someone who hates a lot of wedding traditions, and I am pretty critical of them in general. After I read [an article about bouquet harassment], it’s even more clear to me that it’s a really demeaning practice.”

“This made me realize that the bouquet toss is kind of depressing. But when I caught the bouquet toss at a wedding and the bride and groom told me, ‘You’re next!’, I was actually really happy. Is it really that embarrassing to be single?”

“Lately brides have been tossing bouquets not just for the single women to get married, but so that all of the women can achieve happiness.”

Much like the idea in the last comment, more and more Japanese brides are substituting the bouquet toss with something else for the sake of their unmarried guests. The broccoli toss has become a popular alternative: instead of the bride tossing a bouquet, the groom tosses a stalk of broccoli, which symbolizes continuing the family line, to the single male guests. Whoever catches it takes a bite, and then it’s tossed around to other male guests. Apparently it becomes quite exciting, like a rousing rugby match.

Other netizens had more great ideas to replace the bouquet toss. Instead of throwing a whole flower bouquet, one bride took flowers from her bouquet and stuck them to a Donald Duck and Daisy Duck plush doll, which she then tossed around to her guests. She hoped that no matter the age or gender, all of her guests would get joy from her Disney dolls, rather than a single woman in the bouquet toss.

Another couple used a “parachute bear”, which was more universally appealing than a bouquet, and another bride tied a bunch of ribbons around her bouquet and had each of her guests pull one to see who got the lucky ribbon. And in Nagoya, it’s apparently tradition to throw sweets down on the guests from an upper floor, which could be a fun substitute for a bouquet toss.

Since there are other very serious forms of harassment that occur regularly in Japan, including maternity harassment and power harassment, it may seem silly for singles to get so worked up about a simple wedding tradition. However, the fact that many brides are taking their single friends’ feelings into consideration when planning their weddings indicates that for many people, it’s a serious problem.

But it’s not all bad! Who knows? Maybe a substitute for the bouquet toss will catch on, and a new Japanese wedding tradition will be born instead.

Source: Naver Matome

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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-- Pokémon wedding aims to catch all of our hearts, totally hits the mark 【Photos】

-- What’s a furisode kimono without sleeves? An incredibly elegant wedding dress【Photos】

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

29 Comments
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Does everything bother everybody these days? Whatever.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

SpeedToday  08:18 am JST

Does everything bother everybody these days? Whatever.

I know, right? Here we have an article that's fairly thought-provoking about a custom I've never had to consider before, and I don't know if I agree or not but it at least gives me something to get my brain moving over breakfast. People should grow a thicker skin.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How petty and bitter. This is something only Japanese women could get offended by. Japan can make just about anything into a form of harassment

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Only in Japan...everything here is kangae-sugi

The bouquet tosser has her back turned and isn't aiming at anyone so how can these women think they are targeted ? Totally stupid article

1 ( +6 / -5 )

My wife and I picked out a nice bouquet full of white Lillys for our wedding back in the States. And then she forgot it. LOL

Who cares!?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

 This is something only Japanese women could get offended by. Japan can make just about anything into a form of harassment

You obviously are not familiar with the United States.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Everything is harassment except for actual harassment. If actual harassment was prosecuted, most of the parliament would in jail.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Just change the concept. Whichever lady, unmarried or otherwise, catches the bouquet, gets her ¥30000 ‘gift’ to the happy couple refunded.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Another silly, cringe-worthy & embarrassing wedding tradition. Says more about the two who are getting married than it does about the (perhaps naive, gullible etc) single ladies who participate in the bouquet toss cr*p though.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If bouquet toss to single women is harrassment, broccoli toss to single men is obviously harrassment.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think this article needs a trigger warning at the start in case sensitive single people get upset reading about weddings.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

30 years ago to the month, I was "Best Man" (sorry for all the other good men) at my friends wedding.

I was in my element as the number of "single" women far outnumbered the few "single"men.

So when the bouquet was thrown I was the one male in a sea of women, and to my shock the bouquet landed literally on my chest. Of course i caught it. Many women were extremely displeased with the outcome even angry at me. Some called for a re-throw!!!

I said at the time laughingly "I got a right to get married", but that didn't convince many.

After that, I thought it was a nonsense custom. Weddings are happy events and here were people really peeved off. Like lighten up.

And I didn't get married until 12 years later.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If you don't like the bouquet toss don't step forward to participate.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

As an ordained minister that has done thousands of weddings here over my 2 decades here, I can honestly say that I have never read such utter trash!

Not once have I ever heard anyone in the lineup to catch the bouquet, complain about being made to stand out as a single person. And it's well known that the evening parties also serve as a 'こんぱ' event for singles on both sides.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If you don't want to catch the bouquet, don't stand behind the bride when she chucks it.

If you begrudge the ¥30,000 wedding gift, don't go to the wedding in the first place.

I went to a wedding where they did the 'unravel the ribbons' thing to decide who gets the bouquet, rather than throwing it. And for some reason it was the groom holding the bouquet, not the bride. I thought that was rather sweet.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Well, just because they call all single ladies’ name one by one to join this invent, so I hate this. That’s humiliating I think. Otherwise I don’t care.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Those who cry harassment are only showing their bitter and jealous natures

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Well, just because they call all single ladies’ name one by one to join this invent, so I hate this.

I've never seen any of the chapels and hotels where I have done wedding services, call anyone out by name for the bouquet toss. I think you just made it up.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree with Belrick. The western style weddings here are highly planned with an MC to announce and introduce each activity. It would actually be extremely difficult to be caught out and 'suddenly' be in the group where the Bouquet is being directed.

It's very easy to take a strategic bathroom break at any Japanese function. At least, that's what I recommend if anything you find embarrasing is about to take to take place. 'Oh...did I miss it?? Damn.'

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I always choose and buy a gift, the cost is irrelevant, I spend time and fun in selecting a wedding gift I feel and hope the happy couple will appreciate.

Frankly I can’t say I rally round the bride and groom attempting to retrieve the spoils from the traditional bouquet toss, like some demented basketballer waiting under the hoop to retrieve an inflated bladder coated in rubber.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You don't have to go forward and try to catch the bouquet, unless your name is called out and you are cajoled to join in then I don't see the problem. It's a rather twee tradition, though, and does involve a modicum of showing off by the bride. My friends and I never participated, we were always in the loo when the bride threw the bouquet. The broccoli toss is just idiotic and embarrassing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“Men know that once harnassed they will lose all their money and become a beta zombie.”

”beta zombie”

funniest thing I’ve read today

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The broccoli toss, classic……. All so the single ladies awaiting to catch sometimes, singularly, what could be construed to some as a poison chalice.

 However most believe that to ensure their future happiness they must participate.

I am not going to deny that senior family members, pray openly that I continue to refrain from launching my frame to catch the broccoli/cauliflower centrepiece.

The through of a succession of opinionated assertiveness is just too much to bear.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Not once have I ever heard anyone in the lineup to catch the bouquet, complain 

People don't come to rain on a party. So they shut up unless they find some compliment to say. That does not mean they did not feel ill at ease.

And it's well known that the evening parties also serve as a 'こんぱ' 

That or an omiai. Just like in the West in 1930, when they matched pairs of compatible singles. That's precisely why it can be felt as harassment. In 21st century, the unmarried woman/man may already be in relationships (all kinds) or not looking for, Then, they find themselves paraded as single and/or trapped in a blind date when they only came to wish well at a wedding...

The broccoli toss

In what sticks of the world ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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