Who are the Nanashi?

Oh, the nanashi. That's a married couple that sort of sponsors the newlyweds. Like godparents. They play a much bigger role in the wedding than the parents do, and they're supposed to mentor the couple after the wedding. Make sure they get an apartment where the heat works, teach them how to fight fair, that sort of thing. It's a little difficult now to find people who are willing to take on the responsibility, which is sad because it should be considered an honor. On the other hand, being proposed to is an honor, too, and marriage is certainly a responsibility for which I am not prepared!

Back to the nanashi. (singular, nanash. plural, nanashi. so far as I could tell in my intermitently alcohol-tinged befuddlement, there's no difference between the masculine and feminine. If there is, I'm sure Rodica or Ioan will correct me and this note will disappear on version 2.0 like a bad bug after penicillin.) They had embroidered cloths draped over their shoulders and stood with the couple during the ceremony. The cloths were wider than we generally think of sashes as being, and it didn't seem to matter which side they were draped on. The groomsmen had them, too. The same cloths are frequently used to decorate tables (like a runner) and to drape picture frames and icons. They have rows of embroidery and handmade lace at the ends. The unmarried girls at the wedding wore scarves tied around their right arms, I guess to indicate that they were up for grabs. Perhaps to make it easier to grab them, since they already had the little corsages to show they were single. I got to keep my scarf.