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article imageVideo: Japanese village Otari has first wedding in 42 years

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By Can Tran     Jan 13, 2013 in World
Otari, a small Japanese farming village of about 3,200, had its first wedding in 42 years. To a town that is slowly shrinking in population, this wedding is like a breath of fresh air.
Weddings are notably special occasions for families, friends, and other close ones. Depending on the people that get married, weddings can become an international affair. One example would be the wedding of Prince William Windsor and Kate Middleton. While it has become a nationwide affair for England, it had garnered international attention. In the case of Otari, which is a small farming village in central Japan, weddings are major regardless if the people are famous or not.
It is reported that the population of Otari is about 3,200 where almost seventy percent of that village's population are over the age of 65. In short, there's not that many young people there. As those people start dying out, it would mean Otari would eventually die out as well. That means, people don't get married as often in Otari. The village of Otari haven't had a wedding in over four decades until last November. On November 23, 2012, the first wedding in Otari took place in forty-two years. The couple, not originally from Otari, moved there. They fell in love with the atmosphere. Both of them met through an outdoors club that was based in Otari.
The couple, Kenichi and Ayaka, is reported to already have been married for a couple of years. But, they didn't have the formal ceremony to celebrate their marriage. They felt that having the ceremony was the best way to start their new lives in Otari. The whole village seemingly pitched in to make the ceremony happy. This is an example of community closeness. With all of that said, it is obvious as why weddings are major in Otari. There is the fact that there hasn't been a wedding in 42 years.
One can ask: Why is that?
Again, one has to look at the decreasing population of Otari. Two, one has to look at the median age of most of the residents of Otari. The RocketNews24 article reports that most of the village's young adults moved to the larger urbanized areas for either employment or higher education. As a result, not many come back to Otari. If they get married and start families, it's highly unlikely it won't be in Otari.
Also, one has to look at Japan's decreasing population. The Japan Times reported that the country's population shrunk by at least 212,000 people. It also talks about Japan's yearly low birthrate as well. In the case of Otari, having a wedding ceremony is like a breath of fresh air. Happy Dayz Productions is credited as creating the video and uploading the video onto YouTube for the whole world to see. This is an example that weddings can have a major impact on a community provided that the members are close with each other.
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