In Japan, There's a Toilet for Divorce
Let's hope it doesn't get clogged.
In the Gunma Prefecture in central Japan, women have been praying to the porcelain god, but it has nothing to do with recovering from a night of binge drinking. The Mantokuji Temple is known as the "divorce temple," and within it are a couple of toilets that many modern Japanese women hope will answer their prayers.
Historically, the ancient Buddhist temple served as a refuge for women wanting to leave bad marriages. Tadashi Takagi, the Temple museum director, explained:
"In the past the Mantokuji was a divorce temple. There are only two in Japan and in the whole world. Originally it provided the possibility to break off with bad relationships. Women used to come here to have legal protection and divorce from their husbands."
Today, the Temple serves a similar purpose. Many Japanese believe their gods are present in everything, including toilets, which they call the Kawaya Kami deity. Many women still visit Mantokuji, write down their divorce wishes on paper and flush it down the toilet, symbolic of their split. The ritual is called enkiri—severing ties. Takagi explained:
"The idea today is that people get rid of the bad things in their life and become happy."
But Mantokuji isn't limited to divorcees-to-be. Visitors can perform enkiri with anything. According to the Telegraph, one woman flushed her obesity down the toilet.
And it's not just about cutting ties; visitors can also partake in enmusubi—strengthening ties—although they'll be flushing an entirely different toilet. There's a black lavatory in the temple for those who wish to strengthen the ties in their marriage.
Japan's divorce rate has quadrupled over the past 50 years, so Mantokuji has become a Mecca for many unhappy wives making the pilgrimage. With modern Japanese divorce laws, it may not serve the exact purpose it did hundreds of years ago, but it's still a symbolic sanctuary.
Takagi admits there's been some confusion at Mantokuji.
"There [have been] people who take it for a real lavatory and actually use it," he said. "But since we have put a sign indicating that the toilets are for praying, almost nobody makes that mistake anymore."
Key word: Almost.
Photo: Vstock LLC/Getty Images
More on love & sex from MSN Living:How to Determine If He's Marriage Material
8 Secret Guy Insecurities
On Location: A New Orleans Wedding
I sit on the throne every morning hoping that the hideous demon inside me shall be released into the bowl of eternity and there is enough toilet paper for the job at hand!
The adverb anymore meaning “any longer” or “nowadays” is most commonly spelled as one word. It is used in negativeconstructions and in some types of questions: Sally doesn't workhere anymore. Do you play tennis anymore?
love: friendships, dating, sex & marriage
New research shows they get divorced at vastly lower rates.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally took the plunge, but marriage isn't always a good choice for everyone.
Learn how these surprising tactics can really improve your relationship.
Use these tips to up your chances of finding love.
Find out how paired-off ladies might feel lacking—and how you can make your relationship satisfying.
These signals are seriously subtle, but they can give you real insight into what's going through your husband's mind.
Check which changes are necessary to stay happy together.
We know some of this may sound obvious, but these simple statements can make both of you happier.
Making your relationship more secure, connected, and intimate doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. Try these expert tips and reap the rewards now—and in the long run.
For those times when nothing big and horrible happened--but nothing is feeling right either.
What's more fun than animals in weddings? We've rounded up eight of the cutest.
Your puppy is all over your Instagram, Facebook and fridge, so there's no reason not to include him in your engagement pictures too. The best engagement photos give viewers a peek into your life. If you’re a dog owner, take this opportunity to show off your pooch, like these 22 couples did! And we can't thank them enough.