When 'I do' Means 'I don't anymore'
With 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 ($600) 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.
此后，有25 对夫妻来此举办了离婚典礼，典礼的隆重程度不亚于婚礼。在正式申请离婚前，这些夫妻每人愿意花费5.5 万日元（600 美元）在正式申请离婚前公开结束婚姻关系。据寺井介绍，至今他已收到900 多人的询问。
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. “By putting an end to our marriage, we wanted to give ourselves fresh starts and give our lives a sense of renewal,“said Mr Fujii, a 33-year-old businessman.
Friends and family of the Fujii couple followed closely behind the rickshaws on foot, arriving at the divorce mansion for a ceremony where the Fujiis smashed their wedding ring with a gavel, a gesture signifying the end of their partnership.
The gavel has a frog’s head as frogs symbolize change in Japanese culture.
“When we smashed the ring together, I felt like‘Oh, this is the end of it, really’and my heart and soul felt renewed. Now I feel I can have a new life and start all over again,“ said Mr Fujii. His wife of eight years also expressed relief.
“The moment I saw the smashed ring, I said to myself‘, Yes! That feels so good’,“ Mrs Fujii said.
Divorce is on the rise in Japan, where it was once taboo, with about 251,000 divorces taking place in 2008, partly blamed on the poor economy.
离婚在日本曾是禁忌，如今日本的离婚率却不断攀升。2008 年日本约有25.1 万对夫妇离婚。经济不景气要对婚姻的破裂负一定责任。(En8848)