Jappanese dating customs
A visitor to Japan described the omiai as "a meeting at which the lovers (if persons unknown to each other may be so styled) are allowed to see, sometimes even to speak to each other, and thus estimate each others' merits." However, their objections carried little weight.
The meeting was originally a samurai custom which became widespread during the early twentieth century, when commoners began to arrange marriages for their children through a go-between Courtship remained rare in Japan at this period.
It was neither ceremonial nor necessarily permanent.
The purposes of marriage in the medieval and Edo periods was to form alliances between families, to relieve the family of its female dependents, to perpetuate the family line, and, especially for the lower classes, to add new members to the family's workforce.
The seventeenth-century treatise Onna Daigaku ("Greater Learning for Women") instructed wives honor their parents-in-law before their own parents, and to be "courteous, humble, and conciliatory" towards their husbands.
Public education became almost universal between 1872 and the early 1900s, and schools stressed the traditional concept of filial piety, first toward the nation, second toward the household, and last of all toward a person's own private interests.
Marriage under the Meiji Civil Code required the permission of the head of a household (Article 750) and of the parents for men under 30 and women under 25 (Article 772)., although some would meet for the first time at the wedding ceremony.