Thursday, May 31, 2018

yome 嫁

In Japanese, yome means "wife," or "bride," or "daughter-in-law," the "wife of your son," or "bride of your son."

See also: terms for family members in Japanese.

Aguri 亜玖璃, example of "floral bride," hanayome 花嫁.
Bride: Aguri 亜玖璃
Groom: Amano Keita 雨野景太
Anime: Gamers!, ゲーマーズ! (Episode 8, Stitch, Cropped)

Not to be confused with the homonym yome 読め, the meireikei 命令形 of the godan verb yomu 読む, "to read." Note that the kanji is completely different.


The word yome has multiple uses.

First, yome is one way used by husbands to refer to their wives, or to other people's wives.

嫁はデザイナー バリバリのキャリアウーマン
Character: Miku 美久
Manga: Gokushufudou 極主夫道 (Chapter 5)
  • Context: the protagonist is married to an OL.
  • yome wa dezainaa
    [My] wife is a designer.
  • baribari no kyaria uumann
    A genuine career woman.
    • baribari
      Working earnestly or decisively.
      Genuine. Proper.
      (among other meanings, mimetic word.)

There are several ways to say "wife" in Japanese besides yome. The word tsuma 妻 would be the most basic one, but even some words that refer to one's "mother," like okaasan お母さん, can alternatively refer to one's wife in Japanese.

Second, the word yome can also be used toward a woman that's going to marry, or has recently married someone. In other words, it can mean "bride," or "newly-wed woman."

Third, the original meaning of yome was to refer to the wife or bride of one's son. One's "daughter-in-law." It's still used in this way, and we'll see this in detail further below.


The word yomesan 嫁さん is yome 嫁 plus the san さん honorific.

It means basically the same thing as yome, but it's normally used to refer to a particular person rather than just wives or brides in general.


The word oyomesan お嫁さん is yome with both the san suffix and the honorific prefix o, making it a word in the o__san お〇〇さん pattern.

It works the same the same way as yomesan, except it's a more polite way of saying.

Manga: Mahoutsukai no Yome 魔法使いの嫁 (Chapter 1)
  • boku wa {kimi wo boku no oyomesan ni suru} tsumori demo aru-n-da
    I also intend {to make you my bride}.
    • ~tsumori de aru
      To intend to...
      • mo

        Also. Even.
    • ~X wo Y ni suru
      To make X become Y.
あたし、将来はお嫁さんになりたい! 寝言は寝てから言うのがこの世界のルールですよ おかえりなさいあなた! 早かったわね! もう将来始まったんですか? 食事にする? お風呂にする? それともま・わ・し? ここは相撲部屋じゃありません
Anime: Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo, さくら荘のペットな彼女 (Episode 1)
  • Context: after waking up, Kamiigusa Misaki 上井草美咲 excitedly talks about her dream to Kanda Sorata 神田空太, who isn't as excited.
  • atashi, shourai wa oyome-san ni naritai!
    I want to become a wife in the future!
  • {negoto wa nete kara iu no} ga kono sekai no ruuru desu yo
    {Sleep-talking [is something you do] after sleeping} is this world's rule.
    • Kanda is saying she should only talk nonsense while sleeping, not after waking up.
    • She ignores him completely.
  • okaerinasai anata!
    hayakatta wa ne!
    [Welcome home, dear!]
    [You're] early, aren't you?
  • mou shourai hajimatta-n-desu ka?
    The future already started?
  • shokuji ni suru
    ofuro ni suru
    soretomo... ma... wa... shi...?

    [Which one do you want?]
    Food? Bath? Or... ma... wa... shi?
    • shinkon santaku 新婚三択 - newlywed three choices: a meme in which the bride welcomes her new husband home with three choices to choose from. Originally "what do you want to do? Food, bath, or me (wa-ta-shi)."
  • koko wa sumoubeya jaarimasen
    This isn't a sumo room.
    • In sumo, mawashi is the name of the loincloth that wrestlers wear.


The word hanayome 花嫁, written with hana 花, "flower," and yome 嫁, "bride," meaning literally "flower bride," refers to a bride in a wedding, or one that's about to marry.

This, of course, comes from the idea of floral weddings, where, in a "wedding ceremony," kekkon-shiki 結婚式, the bride holds a "bouquet" of flowers, buuke ブーケ.

Not to be confused with hanayome 鼻嫁 which isn't a word but if were would mean "nose bride."

・・・・・・・・・やっぱり・・・やめとく? え・・・・・・ 八雲の花嫁姿も見たかったけど・・・ う・・・ううん・・・いいよ・・・そんな・・・ ありがとう!!ゴメンネ!
Manga: School Rumble, スクールランブル (Chapter 62, The Graduate)
  • Context: Tsukamoto Yakumo 塚本八雲 is invited to play the part of a bride in a theater piece, but then she finds out the guy that will play the groom is someone she doesn't want to deal with.
  • .........yappari... yametoku?
    .........thinking again... will [you] give up?
    • yametoku - contraction of yamete-oku やめておく.
  • e......
  • Yakumo no hanayome-sugata mo mitakatta kedo...
    [I] wanted to see [you] dressed a floral bride, too, but...
    • X-sugata
      X-form, in the sense of to be dressed in a certain outfit. ("bride form" means "dressed as a bride," then.)
  • u... uun... ii yo... sonna...
    N... no... [it] is alright... [something] like that...
  • arigatou!! gomen ne!
    Thank [you]!! [And] sorry, okay!

Ore no Yome

The phrase ore no yome 俺の嫁, besides meaning "my wife," "my bride," "my daughter-in-law," and so on, also has another meaning as an otaku slang: it means waifu in Japanese!

ミンチは俺の嫁!! お前の嫁はあたしだろ!! 俺の嫁【おれのよめ】 2次元キャラへの愛情表現のひとつで、お嫁さんにしたいほどそのキャラを愛しているという意味、または宣言。
Manga: Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 旦那が何を言っているかわからない件 (Chapter 1, 合わない趣味とハマったソリ)
  • Context: a wife doesn't understand what her husband is saying.
  • Minchi wa ore no yome!!
    Michi is my waifu!!
  • omae no yome wa atashi daro!!
    Your wife is me, [did you forget]!!
  • Footnotes:
  • ore no yome: nijigen kyara e no aijou hyougen no hitotsu de, {{{oyome-san ni shitai} hodo sono kyara wo aishiteiru} toiu} imi, mata wa sengen.
    俺の嫁【おれのよめ】 2次元キャラの愛情表現のひとつで、お嫁さんにしたいほどそのキャラを愛しているという意味、または宣言。
    My waifu: one expression of affection toward 2D characters, the meaning {being [that] {[you] love that character enough {to want to make [them] [your] wife}}}, also a way to declare that.
    • Inside 【】is the furigana for 俺の嫁.


The muko 婿 is the male counterpart of yome 嫁, it means "husband," "groom," or "son-in-law," and has similar origins.

Like hanayome, the word hanamuko 花婿 would refer to the (flower) "groom" in the wedding, probably dressed for the ceremony.

許せん ドドド ヒゲもねえ花井(ヤツ)に塚本天満の花婿役の資格はねえ!!花婿はーー俺のみ!!
Manga: School Rumble, スクールランブル (Chapter 62, THE GRADUATE)
  • Context: Hanai Haruki 花井春樹, who doesn't have a beard, was selected to play the "part (as in role)," yaku 役, of the groom of Tsukamoto Tenma 塚本天満 in a wedding of a theater piece, triggering the wrath of Harima Kenji 播磨拳児.
  • yurusen
    [I] can't forgive [it]!
  • dododo
    *motorbike noises*
  • {hige mo nee} yatsu ni Tsukamoto Tenma no hanamuko-yaku no shikaku wa nee!!
    A guy [who] {doesn't even have facial hair} doesn't have the qualification to be Tsukamoto Tenma's flower-groom part!!
  • Hanamuko wa--ore nomi!!
    The flower groom is... me only!!

Unlike ore no yome 俺の嫁, the word ore no muko 俺の婿 holds no special meaning within the Japanese anime fandom, that is, it doesn't refer to a male waifu, i.e. a "husbando."


Regarding the origins of the word yome, and how it means both "bride" and "daughter-in-law" at the same time... it's complicated.

Traditionally, in a single Japanese family, one would refer to the man of the house, the husband, the "lord" of the house, as shujin 主人 (maybe even goshujinsama ご主人様), and his wife as okusama 奥様.

In this scheme, the wife of the son of the shujin of a household would be that family's yome 嫁. That is, "daughter-in-law" of the family. Conversely, the husband of the daughter of the shujin would be that family's muko 婿, the "son-in-law" of the family.

Japanese Family System

Why is this important: in Japan, there was a strong family unit culture. Families had business going on for generations. Those businesses carried the family name, which were normally inherited by the first-born male children over and over again. Mixing two families through marriage was kind of a big deal.

When the son brought home a woman to marry, a wife, she brought her from outside the family. And she would marry into the family. Marrying means she'd lose her birth family name, her surname, and get it replaced with a married name, the family name of the son, her husband. From the point of view of the family, this essentially meant branding an outsider with the family name, which is a very risky idea business-wise.

I mean, consider this: imagine a company called Tanaka Corporation letting any one woman use their brand. What if some random nutjob starts making videos of her killing cats or some shit and posting it on Youtube with the Tanaka trademark as a watermark. It associates Tanaka Corp. with killing kittens, pours dirt on the honorable company name. Not good for business.

Of course, there wasn't Youtube at the time we're talking about, but it's the same thing. Families couldn't let just any girl join the family. So, for a while, this pseudo-wife would have to live in the family's home, trying to convince the parents-in-law that she's a woman suited to their son. This could go on for years, and during this while she was a yome.


As time went by, this family system stuff literally became a thing of the past. Sure, it still lingers in some ways or forms to this day, but it's generally weakened, and, as such, the word yome stopped having this "woman who comes from outside the family" nuance it once had.

Instead, it probably began to adopt the "woman who's going to marry" nuance instead. Which probably was how it ended up being "woman who's newly-wed," and "woman I'll marry with," and "woman I've married with," and so on.

Mukoyoushi 婿養子

By the way, there were cases where a family & family's business ended up being inherited by a daughter instead of a son. This could happen if the family had no sons, for example, only daughters. In this case, the situation could be reversed, with the husband marrying into the daughter's family.

This meant the husband would lose his birth family name and get it replaced with the family name of the family he's marrying into. You'd assume this means the wife's family is some very powerful family, with a very well-known name, otherwise there's not much point in this. Although of course it could happen for other reasons, too.

Anyway, when this happens, the muko 婿, "son-in-law," is denominated mukoyoushi 婿養子, which combines muko with "adopted child," youshi 養子, since it's kind of like he's been adopted into the family, given his family name change.

Family Words

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