Most people know what it is like to have a good old cry and to get the feeling of having a huge weight removed from their shoulders.

A new social phenomenon, dubbed "rui-katsu" (tear-seeking), is spreading across Japan as adults gather together to watch tear-jerking movies and cry in public as a way of releasing stress.

Five people clutching handkerchiefs sat before a blank screen in a room in Atsuta Ward, Nagoya, on a recent evening.