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Weird Japan

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Sachio Kawabata, 61, was awarded the equivalent of about $5,000 by a court in Kagoshima in January because the police abused him during interrogation over possible violations of election law. The judge found that Kawabata suffered "great mental anguish" when police wrote his family name and derogatory messages on pieces of paper and forced Kawabata to stomp on them.

The house specialty at the 800-year-old Yasui Konpiragu Shrine in Kyoto, Japan, is the prayer for strength to end a marriage or other relationship, mostly offered by female visitors who crawl into a "wish tunnel," but also available from on-site priests for the equivalent of about $50. Parents, also, may pray that a son or daughter ends a bad relationship.

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