Celebrating Your Divorce
Weddings are always gala affairs, why not celebrate divorces too? Even though divorce is generally considered taboo in Japan, a weak economy is taking a toll on relationships in that country and the number of divorces is on the rise. A Japanese businessman, Hiroki Terai, came up with the idea for divorce celebration ceremonies when he recognized an opportunity in the growing number of divorces. Terai felt there was a need to create a more positive way for people to end a marriage than the typically depressing divorce hearing.
In response, Terai set up a small divorce headquarters in Tokyo where couples pay about $600 to throw a divorce ceremony where their family and friends can help celebrate the end of their relationship. Terai claims the ceremonies can help divorcing spouses handle the emotional upset of splitting up and moving on with their lives. In a bit of odd irony, Terai’s divorce ceremonies usually feature the same party atmosphere and luxuries that most weddings enjoy. Only the spouses celebrate the declaration of their new freedom instead of the beginning of a long relationship.
Terai’s’ divorce celebrations have a few traditions of their own developing. One popular option includes a ceremonial smashing of the wedding rings with a hammer, and another is seating the divorcing couple back to back at opposing tables during a gala divorce dinner. It might take some time to determine if Terai’s divorce celebrations actually do make it easier for couples to cope with a breakup and make it easier to move forward after the ordeal. Considering that most of the world’s economy is in the tank just like Japan’s these days, the concept of celebrating divorces may just be an idea whose time has come. If divorce celebrations became a hit in the United States it could spawn a whole new segment of the divorce industry. Instead of advertisements for “Las Vegas Bachelor Parties” we might see new ads for “Ultimate Divorce Parties” where a couple might really have reason to hate each other after spending a weekend of separate, but equal debauchery celebrating their divorce in Las Vegas.