Did you watch the American movie “The proposal”?
I think the Japanese title of that movie is better than the original “The proposal”.
The Japanese title is “あなたは私の婿になる/anata wa watashi no muko ni naru.” . You can easily imagine which one of the couple has the initiative only by the word ‘muko‘, and you also know it’s a comedy.
If I translate the Japanese title into English again, it could be ‘You will be my husband.’ or something. I don’t know the proper English word describes an implicit meaning of the Japanese word ‘muko’. A ‘husband’ is not enough. A ‘groom’ may be different in this case. The dictionary says ‘muko’ means ‘groom’ or ‘son in law’. It IS used certainly for these meanings. However, ‘muko‘ has another implicit but important meaning, I think.
‘Muko‘ is used for a man who marry a woman from the family without boys. If the family doesn’t have any boy, or the boy was accidentally died or something, the eldest girl has to marry a man who could take charge of the successor of the girl’s family. For that reason, the groom is supposed to change his family name to wife’s one, and so his kids would also have wife’s family name. They sometimes use ‘muko youshi’ instead of ‘muko’ to make his position clear. (Youshi means adoption.)
Recently, they doesn’t mind so seriously to success the family name than before. For instance, I am the eldest girl and I don’t have any brothers, but I married my husband who is the ELDEST boy in his family. My younger sister also married with the eldest man, so my parents don’t have any successor officially. It’s quite common these days. However, it’s rare that the guy who become to be ‘muko‘ willingly unless the girl’s family is the millionaire.
Nevertheless, the word ‘muko‘ still reminds us the ancient Japan, in which days a muko was supposed to be tamed, patient and modest to wife’s family. So, in this movie title, they picked up that word ‘muko’ than just ‘husband’ deliberately, it works to make people imagine the story might be about the bossy woman forces a man to marry with her.
Oniyome and Soushoku-kei danshi are floating these days, and they also imply the relationship between women and men has changed. How is it going in your culture?
“Oniyome” = A wife who tames her husband and she is very strong, offensive to him. The TV drama Oniyome nikki(diary) is funny and my son’s fav!?
“Soushoku-kei danshi“= Soushoku(kei) means herbivorous. Danshi means boys. So, Soushoku-kei danshi doesn’t move initiativelly to get a woman like a hunting animal. They are just waiting a girl gives him a chance.