In Japan, an ‘I don’t’ ceremony – Divorce ceremony for couples who want a do-over

With married couples choosing to go their separate ways about every two minutes in Japan, divorce ceremonies celebrating the end of unhappy unions and demonstrating couples’ determination to start over are gaining popularity in Tokyo.

About 15 people in their 20s and 30s attended one such ceremony this year, some formally clothed and others bearing congratulatory money in envelopes bearing the word "goshugi" (end-of-marriage ceremony).

Held at a "divorce mansion" converted from a garage in Tokyo’s Asakusa area, the man and woman about to say "I don’t" arrived in separate rickshaws.

A 28-year-old woman representing the couple’s friends made a speech at the beginning of the ceremony. "Honestly speaking, I’ve had a difficult time knowing what to say," she said. "I’d still like to be friends with both of you even after the divorce."

Read the rest of the story: In Japan, an ‘I don’t’ ceremony.

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