2015-08-16

nakodo matchmaker

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. Japanese legends and tales 伝説 民話 昔話 - Introduction .
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nakoodo, nakōdo 仲人 Nakodo, legends about matchmakers for marriage



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A nakōdo (仲人 matchmaker) serves the role of a go-between for families in the miai process. A nakōdo is not necessary for all miai. The nakōdo can be a family member, friend, or matchmaking company.
Professional organizations have begun to provide go-between services for inquiring candidates. These professional nakōdo are known as puro (pro) nakōdo.
The nakōdo is expected to play a variety of roles throughout the miai process. The first is the bridging role, hashikake (橋架け), in which the nakōdo introduces potential candidates and families to each other. The second role is as a liaison for the families to avoid direct confrontation and differences in opinions between them by serving as an intermediary for working out the details of the marriage.

miai (見合い, "matchmaking", lit. "looking at one another")
or omiai (お見合い) is a Japanese traditional custom
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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nakoodo isha 仲人医者 doctors as matchmakers for marriage
keian 慶庵 / 桂庵 Keian matchmaker
Named after the famous matchmacer-doctor Yamato Keian 大和慶庵 (around 1653).

A Nakodo go-between was necessary for a regular marriage in Edo.
Some doctors with a bad medical reputation could fall back on this kind of "business". Once the marriage was fixed, he would get quite a bit of "thank-you money".

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Yokai - Monsters having a miai meeting -



Look at the full scroll of the Monsters having a Miai and Wedding
Bakemono Konrei 化物婚礼
- source : Toyo Daigaku -


In the Yokai world, animals like fox, tanuki, serpent or Kappa are also Nakodo.


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- - - - - ABC List of the prefectures :

.................................................................. Fukushima 福島県 ....................................................................
会津若松市 Aizu Wakamatsu

tori no tobu yoo na oto 鳥の飛ぶような音 sound of a bird flying off

In the family of a matchmaker the wife had died and for about one month every day from the Tokonoma alcove the sound of a large bird flying off was to be heared.
When the husband looked, there was nobody.


.................................................................. Gifu 岐阜県 ....................................................................
和良村 Waramura

kitsune 狐 Fox

The bride of the house had already been on her way when the Nakodo came to pick her up. In fact it was a fox who had shapeshifted as the bride and walked at the top of the group.



.................................................................. Ishikawa 石川県 ....................................................................
河内村 Kawachimura

mujina むじな Tanuki badger

Once a Nakodo went to pick up the bride at her home. But out of the bushes there came a badger, with leaves on his head like the headgear of a bride. The Nakodo pretended not to suspect fraud, went close to the "bride" and hit the "Tanuki bride" with his long umbrella, until the Tanuki was dead.
Then the Nakodo carried the Tanuki to his home and postponed the wedding.



.................................................................. Miyagi 宮城県 ....................................................................
栗駒 Kurikoma - 馬橋坂 Umahashisaka

Umahashisaka no Mansukegitsune 馬橋坂の万助狐 Mansuke Kitsune the Fox

Mansuke is the most well-known fox in this region.
At the time of the cultivation of the 桧沢岳 Hisawadake region there was a man named Sato who had lost his wife and was working all alone.
One evening a Nakodo came and offered to find a new wife for him. The deal was fixed in a few days, the relatives invited for the wedding celebration. When all were drunk the bride, the Nakodo and the visitors suddenly showed her real form and all disappeared, including the feast in front of his eyes.

The bride of Mansuke was お花 O-Hana from Mount 花館山. People walking the path between the two mountains often got tricked by the fox couple.


A fox on a tea pot


Umahashisaka no Manjuuroo 馬橋坂の万寿郎狐 Manjuro the Fox

A legend of another fox called Manjuro tells of 宗作爺 Grandfather Sosaku. Once he went to some relatives to help putting new reeds on the roof. He got some rice cakes 月形餅や撒餅 for his help and was on his way home. When he passed the school the children came to him and asked to see the contents of his packet and wanted some to eat. He felt quite elated and wanted to share them with the children. When he tried to open the packes it suddenly disappeared and all the children were gone . . . Manjuro had played a trick on him!


.................................................................. Nagano 長野県 ....................................................................
山ノ内町 Yamanouchi

kitsune 狐 Fox

A samurai was asked to expell a fox from the village.
But the fox asked him instead:
"I was asked to be the Nakodo and bring the bride to the home of the groom. On the way she suddenly asked to take a bath and I don't know what to do. Can you do it in my place?"
When he tried to help the fox and went to the bath he suddenly found himself sitting in a puddle of mud instead . . .





.................................................................. Niigata 新潟県 ....................................................................
松之山町 Matsunoyama

hebi 蛇 serpent

The serpent wanted the princess of the pond 蒲生池 / 蒲生の池 Kamo-no-ike as his bride. But the Nakodo was refused. In his anger he killed all the members of the family.
He borrowed the famous serpent-cutting sword 蛇切丸 and fought with the enemy.

This is a famous sword 蛇切丸 with more legends in other regions of Japan.
- reference -

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.................................................................. Kappa legends 河童 ...............................................................

. Welcome to the Kappapedia ! .


Once a Kappa from the bridge 宮川橋 Miyagawakyo became a bride. The Nakodo was from 二の橋 Ninohashi.
The "Kappa" in this tale is in fact a prostitute from a tea stall. Ninohashi was famous for the Aimaiya, Aimai-Ya 曖昧屋 , a kind of tea stall, eatery or lodging, keeping aimai women 曖昧女(おんな) prostitutes.

Aimai chaya 曖昧茶屋, Aimai yado 曖昧宿.

aimai 曖昧 is a normal word of the Japanese language, it means ambiguous, not clearly defined, obscure, vague . . . (you can google for more).


. chaya 茶屋 tea shop, tea stall business in Edo .
fuuzoku, fûzoku 風俗 Fuzoku, entertainment and sex business




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今さら意味を聞けない日本語1000
explaining a lot of "aimai" words with ambiguous meanings.
一言居士、かなぼうひき、ゆめゆめ、烏の行水、あまつさえ、まめまめしい、度し難い、益体も無い……大人なら使ってみたい曖昧で間違いやすい言葉の数々。
(available at amazon com.)

yokai database 妖怪データベース  - source : www.nichibun.ac.jp -

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. minwa 民話 folktales / densetsu 伝説 Japanese Legends .
- Introduction -

- Yookai 妖怪 Yokai Monsters of Japan -
- Introduction -

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. Join the friends on Facebook ! .

- #nakodo #nakodolegends -
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