Yui-no is a traditional Japanese ceremony where the parents of an engaged couple meet, have dinner, and exchange gifts. Usually they meet on a lucky day in the almanac. The main gifts exchanged are an obi (sash for kimono) given to the bride-to-be, and a hakama (skirt-like pants) given to the groom-to-be.
Then other gifts will be presented:
Naga-Noshi: A decoration made from abalone
s, which used to be very important in trading
in Japan. Given to show sincere
wishes of gift-giver.
Mokuroku : A list
of all the gifts being given.
Katsuo-bushi : Dried bonito
, used for making soup base or can be eaten alone. And very tasty, I might add. Especially if salted and rolled in seaweed...mmm.
Surume : Dried cuttlefish
. This and the katsuo-bushi are symbolic
of quality that lasts.
Konbu : Seaweed
knots. Symbolic of strong breeding
, wishes for a large family
Shiraga : Hemp
fibers symbolic of ties and cooperation
in marriage. Spelled phonetically
it also means "white
hair", wishing for the couple to grow old together
Suehiro : A fan, a symbol of happiness
and expanding horizons.
Yanagi-daru : A wine
cask. Money may be given in its place, if sake
wine is wished.
A small gift of money is usually exchanged as well, along with a list of all family members.
(Thanks to http://mothra.rerf.or.jp for some info, and to Kenji Yokohama for detailed cultural info)