Japan and South Korea might be currently at odds diplomatically, but culturally and romantically, the two countries were united for the Korea-Japan Friendship Festival 2013 which kicked off on July 7. A traditional Korean wedding for Kanagawa sushi chef Yuta Tanaka and Masan, South Korea resident Park Soo-jin was held in Tokyo to start off the festivities.
The festival is held annually, sponsored by the South Korean government and held in Tokyo, to promote tourist spots and highlight the popular culture of South Korea to encourage Japanese residents to visit. The wedding of the happy couple was made even more special because it was held on the day of the Tanabata Star Festival, which is based on the myth that the stars Vegas and Altair in the Milky Way meet only once a year to celebrate their love as celestial husband and wife.
The couple applied for special permission to have their wedding be part of the festival. Lee Charm, CEO of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) gladly served as the go-between for the ceremony, which was attended by around 100 visitors who also served as witnesses. The two, who met at the restaurant where Tanaka was working, wore traditional Korean attire, a challenge for the bride as her wedding dress was especially heavy and hot. But it was worth it as she said it was a ceremony she would not forget easily. It also helped that they received round trip plane tickets to South Korea and gift certificates for a stay on Jeju Island from the festival organizers.
[ via Asahi Shimbun ]