Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Japanese Picture Bride Etiquette

Japanese "Picture Brides" — "She will no longer step from the steamer ignorant of American life and American ways. She will take a finishing course on the way across the Pacific."
Training Japanese Brides in American Ways

SAN FRANCISCO, April 6—No more will the dainty "picture bride" from Japan, unschooled in life of the Occident, be landed at this port to fall into the arms of a strange husband and stand before the criticizing gaze of a new world. Young Japanese men of the Pacific Coast have adopted a custom of sending to their native land for a wife. 


They mail their picture and some Nippon maid whose eyes are set on the Western World sends back a picture of herself. If impressons are favorable, he sends her transportation and they are married when she arrives. But she will no longer step from the steamer ignorant of American life and American ways. She will take a finishing course on the way across the Pacific. This is an innovation of the Toyo Kisen Kaisha, Japanese steamship company. The Korea Maru was the first vessel to arrive from Japan with a school of conduct and etiquette for "picture brides’’ on board. It was in charge of Japanese women who have learned the ways of America. 

Every morning for two hours classes are held. The Oriental brides are shown the use of knives and forks. They are taught to sit properly on a chair and eat from a table instead of dining on the floor, as they do in Japan. They are shown the most approved American dress, the approved way of getting into it and how to wear it. They are taught to walk with American shoes and—yes. the mystery of the corset is explained to them. — The Los Angeles Herald, 1917

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