Have you ever bumped into an acquaintance and asked how their spouse was, only to find out they got divorced a month earlier. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to avoid these social landmines which multiply with the ever growing divorce rate?

Divorce Newspapers have been developed in Japan which allow couples to distribute a report of the demise of their marriage to friends and family quickly and easily.  It’s also a way for the newly divorced to save the embarrassment of telling each person individually and helps people to avoid social blunders like above.

The “divorce newspaper” is the creating of divorce guru Hiroki Terai, who is also a strong proponent of “divorce ceremonies.”  Divorce ceremonies are either fun or solemn events aimed at giving the couple a chance to look back on their time together and part ways with a good feeling. In some cases divorce ceremonies have even led to a cancelling of the divorce.

Although a divorce newspaper is not a part of a divorce ceremony you do get 50% off the 11,220 yen (US$140) one-sided copy or 15,490 yen (US$200) two-sided copy price if you include an ad for the service.

Mr. Terai came up with the idea after frequently hearing during counseling sessions that divorcees want everyone to hear the news as quickly as possible but have trouble telling everyone in person.

Sure Facebook and Twitter are alternatives but switching your status to “single” doesn’t give others a peek into you mental state if they want to help.  They also don’t let you get through to your 80 year old aunt Ester or that friend we all have who’s still refuses to sign up to Facebook.

These newspapers offer a deeper analysis of the failed marriage as well.  When you sign up, you and your ex are interviewed about your history, feelings, and other things you want included.

This information is then compiled into a newspaper format within the week and ready to deliver upon your approval. You also have your choice of three newspaper formats; the lighthearted “sports page” style, elegant “English headline” style, or exotic “South American” style.

The last two of those styles have headlines reading “Happy Divorce” which in normal circumstances is called an “Amicable Divorce.”  Admittedly, the headline they went with has more zing than the latter.

For an extra charge, you can also have you and your ex’s life together converted into your very own Game of Life board.  Each square represents a milestone in your relationship with the final square (goal) marked off as “Happy Divorce!”

These newspapers and board games might seem overly flippant under the circumstances but Mr. Terai insists that putting a positive spin on divorce can help everyone to move on to the next stage in life with a positive attitude.

Source: Official Divorce Ceremony Site via Excite News (Japanese)

From left to right: Japanese Sports Style; English Headline Style; South American Headline Style

Here’s a segment of a personalized Game of Life board.