Poo! It’s funny, no?
It appears nothing could be so simultaneously repulsive and intriguing at the same time.
I began this investigation into poop when reading my recently acquired manga ‘Dr. Slump’ volume 3. In it Arare-chan is seen happily playing with poo. Little did I realize how deep a fascination with poo there is in the minds of Japanese people, and lets face it, the rest of the world… here are just some of my finds and memories of poo in Japan and beyond.
Poo in Japan is often represented as a cute swirl resembling soft ice cream (maki guso; meaning “curlicue poo”). “Unchi” or “unko” is the Japanese word for poo and one of the explanations for the enormous amount of trinkets resembling poo at Shrines is that the Japanese word “un,” is both an onomatopoeic rendition of loud guttural exertion and a homonym for “luck.” Even to the point that when someone steps in dog poo there is a saying “un ga tsuku,” or “luck has stuck to you.”
I remember one of my first days in Junior High School in Japan a girl ran up to me shouting “Hello, do you like poo?… I do!” My look of disgust scared her away and it was not until later when I spied her ‘Winnie the Pooh” trinkets all over her bag that I realized there had been a slight error in our communications.
You may or may not remember this book published some years back and soon became the best selling english translated book from Japan.
Recently a new book was released, called “Hajimete no Toire” (My First Toilet). I snapped this young girl perusing it at a stand in Village Vanguard on my trip to Japan this year. Her mother came up beside her and said “Ah, I knew I’d find you here, why do you find poo so interesting?” to which she answered “I don’t know, I just do”.
In fact the whole stand was full of ‘poo goods’ next a book entitled “UNKO” (POO) there was a shiny Golden Poo, apparently a golden poo is for those who thinks theirs doesn’t stink. Nevertheless it makes for an interesting ashtray and great conversation piece.
There is also a computer game.and a cartoon for toilet training that needs to be seen to be believed, previously shown by my buddy Sigsy.
Apparently there was even a store selling poo shaped chocolates for Valentines Day called Unchikun, cause we all know nothing else says ‘I love you’ more than a selection of carefully chosen and wrapped poo-shaped chocolates from your lover.
I myself have a poo story from Japan, something I will never forget (much to my disappointment).
During the winter of 2005/2006 I was sent to a Junior High School very far away, which meant a train ride, a monorail ride and a bus ride very early in the morning. This day I was on the final leg, the bus ride, chatting to an ex-student of mine, when I noticed her focus shift to view something behind me and a very strange look come over her face (a kind of mixture of surprise and disgust). I turned around and was confronted by a women smack bang in the middle of the bus, pants down, back to me… defecating. Yes, defecating. Several school girls at the back of the bus started some high pitched screaming and this alerted the driver, who pulled over. I remember his face in the rear view mirror, bug eyed and unbelieving. He shouted to her to stop and get off, it was then that I noticed (yes I had turned back to look once more) that she had pooped on some newspapers she had placed neatly on the floor below, indicating to me this was a premeditated act or something she may do regularly. The bus driver opened the doors at which point she calmly picked up the paper with poo atop and placed it on the side of the road. She then continued her journey on the bus with us. I suspect the bus driver actually wanted her to get off as well but who’s going to argue with someone willing to defecate in public? It was stinky, I was queasy, I never took the 7.13 am again.
However, poo fascination is certainly not confined to Japan, I recently found this addictive flash game from korea. Using what appears to be the Japanese kancho move to defeat someone pooping through their pants, huh?
Go on play the game, you know you want to!!
“Why did I write a post about poo” I hear you ask “I don’t know, I just did”.
And there ends my poop blog.