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
There had to be a better way.
LinkedUp connects to your LinkedIn profile to find you a date.
Plus, some report having no one at all they feel close to.
It's wedding season! Let's take a look back at when these stunning celebs put on gorgeous gowns and held beautiful bouquets in support of their friends' and family members' big days.
A new study says we're more open to consensual non-monogamy now than ever before — but does it work?
5 steps to being happy together in the long run.
There has been an exponential increase in the number of people who are questioning their marriage.
We're willing to bet that if you're not already grappling with these wedding-related snags, you will be soon.
Pull out the tissues for these personalized wedding vows.
Forgotten what love is all about? Read this note, and remember.
And a few that aren't so shocking.
If you find yourself doing any of these things, consider changing your behavior or counseling.