08:13:30 PM Oct 5th 2011
Should it be noted (possibly as a hot tip) that Japan isn't the only place where the wedding serves no legal purpose and is at best a religious function and at least a really big party? I don't know about other places, but this is true in the US. Just as in Japan, the wedding is a party, the ceremony religious, but the gummint doesn't think you're married until you fill out the paperwork or demonstrate that, functionally, you're married by living together for years and years. I believe the same is true for the British and the other societies they've spawned, and suspect it for much of Europe.