1950s and dating
One of these settings was the “Shibui” dance, run by a man of the same name.For .50, young men and women could attend a night of dinner and dancing with the express purpose of introducing eligible bachelors to single young women.Upon arrival, new members bowed to one another and offered the greeting “yoroshiku,” described as “a very loose greeting which is used to fit any situation and in this case meaning ‘I hope I can find a mate among you.’” During dinner, partygoers were expected to “learn proper manner of eating western food.” If a young man found a young woman intriguing, he was not allowed to leave with her. Shibui, who would then arrange a date if the feelings were mutual.One young couple, Akiksuke Tsutsui and Chiyoko Inami, met when Chiyoko, who worked at a bank in the same building as Akiksuke’s father’s clothing shop, began frequenting the shop during breaks.My mom, who was no political activist, but was militantly anti-racist, chose a Black roommate when she went to Ohio State University in Columbus in the mid-1950s, which was a brave and in-your-face decision by both of them.I think one reason my first girlfriend and I didn't last longer, aside from the fact that we were very young and romances like that blossom and wither quickly, was that we were in fear whenever we were in public in Virginia, and when you're under driving age in an area like that without then good public transportation, getting one party, namely me, to a place where we were physically safe was a problem.
In the south, with a black man – white woman couple, it was practically suicide, and I mean that in a literal sense. She caught a certain amount of static from black people in DC for dating a white guy, but she was a strong willed person and brushed it off.
This may have been a common story for heterosexual couples in America in the 1950s, but when LIFE dispatched John Dominis to capture love and marriage in post-war Japan, he found a landscape undergoing a significant transformation.
Boy and girl get married, buy a house and have (on average) 2.2 children.
Takahide and Mitsuyo, in a better financial position than some of the others, led Dominis to make an observation about class and marriage.
“Most couples in Tokyo just can’t afford to get married until the guy is around 30 unless they both work or he has an exceptional job, or there is money in the family,” he wrote.
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The man would run strong risk of being lynched judicially or by mob. I lived in Virginia, she in DC, and it would've been worth a beating for me and worse for her if we had been observed being engaged in any PDA, even hand-holding, on the Virginia side of the line. Our parents, who were best friends, were totally cool with it.