You're Uninvited! Divorce Ceremonies Trendy in Japan


The Japanese are always ahead of the curve.  They’re at the cutting edge of technology and fashion (Harujuku Girls for better and Sony 3D TVs for worse).  Their most recent invention – and dare I say, innovation?  The divorce ceremony.  Um, hello?  One ticket to Japan, please!

Actually, make that two tickets – because believe it or not, divorce ceremonies require participation by both members of the married couple.  According to reports, in the last year, almost 900 couples have enquired about this unique rite of passage.

The man who pioneered the divorce ceremony is Hiroki Terai.  He told Reuters he “set up a ‘divorce mansion’ in a small undercover space in Tokyo” last April.  “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.”

To those of you that are single or in happy marriages, this idea may sound crazy.  Bloggers at Slate and Jezebel both have their doubts.  But as someone who went through a divorce, I can tell you, divorce ceremonies sound revolutionary to me.  I can imagine that working together on the end of our marriage would have been, if not any less painful, at least a lot nicer were a string quartet playing while a handsome waiter offered us bacon-wrapped scallop hors d’oeuvres.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d keep the affair small – just the two of us, and an officiant, the woman who married us, to bring everything full circle.  Instead of reading love poems by Nikki Giovanni, I’d take the altar (on a cliffside, wearing white to be defiant with my hair covered in daisies) and perform a modern dance solo to Your Ex-Lover is Dead by Stars, during which I’d smear myself in black and red paint.  Next we’d smash the silver plate and white candlestick holders we used during our wedding ceremony, and he’d shout, “I never liked your mother anyway!”  Then we’d go do the electric slide to Play That Funky Music White Boy and call it a day.

Photo: quinn.anya via Flickr