Monday, June 21, 2010

Japanese couples say "I do" in divorce ceremonies

divorceWith divorce on the rise in Japan, some couples are choosing to celebrate the end of an unhappy marriage by saying "I do" for a final time at a divorce ceremony before friends and family.

Divorce ceremonies were pioneered about a year ago by a former salesman, Hiroki Terai, who set up a "divorce mansion" in a small undercover space in Tokyo.

Since then about 25 couples have each paid 55,000 yen ($606) to hold a ceremony with all the pomp and grandeur of a wedding that publicly ends their relationship before they officially file for divorce. Terai said he had received more than 900 inquiries.

The latest couple, who called themselves Mr. and Mrs. Fujii, met near Sensoji Temple in Tokyo's traditional Asakusa area on Sunday and rode in separate rickshaws to the "divorce mansion."