Mi ai is the Japanese term for a formal meeting between a man and woman to get to know each other before an arranged marriage. The meeting can also be arranged by a go-between, usually a personal friend of both involved or a family member. After this meeting, the man and woman are given time to get to know each other better. Occasionally, both parties may only send pictures to each other. Either way, their parents have already gone through a long process of checking out the other family's history and economic background first.
Sidenote! The term "arranged marriage" is not really good at describing Japanese marriages of this sort. For one thing, both parties are allowed to meet, and usually a dowry is not necessary. Money is exchanged between families, but several other traditional gifts are as well. This special ceremony is called Yui-no.
(Special thanks to my Sensei
Mitsuyo Kobayashi Endicott for her help!)
*Note* - gn0sis
has alerted me to the fact that mi ai is usually spelled as one word, with the honorific 'o' preceding it. I only spelled it this way as my teacher indicated either spelling was correct, though not appropriate in all contexts.