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SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1936. Volume 7. Number 8.

Marriage in Japan — The Famous Mitshi Family

Marriage in Japan

The Famous Mitshi Family

Marrages are still usually matters of arrangement between the families, irrespective of the wishes of the parties. The marriage is not so much a binding of a man and a woman as a union of the two families. We had a good example in the case of a man who was. incidentally, a graduante of Cambridge University. One night he announced in a resigned tone that he was engaged When press by his friend as to the exact nature of his feelings, he confessed that he wasn't in love, but expressed the hope that he would learn to like the lady.

The famous Mitsui family have kept up their stock in this way. if one of the younger sons or cousins does not show sufficient promise at the age of 14 or 15 he is quietly removed from the family and another bright young man is brought in by marrying him to one of the Mitsui girls. And the newcomer takes the Mitsui name. The older heads are not allowed to retire while the family council considers they are still serviceable-but when they are past their best out they go-and with a new name. The Mitsuis have a controlling interest in one quarter of the trade of Japan and their merchant shipping is reckoned to be greater than the entire mercantile marine of France.

The family is, of course, persona grata with the Emperor, and there is no trouble because the Mitsuis live a well ordered life and their work is not for themselves but for the glory of Japan, in which object they consider themselves partners with the State. The common people believe this.