Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On the Japanese Obsession with “Number Two”

poo The Japanese are obsessed with hygiene practices, and therefore, hygiene products, which is understandable given Japan’s  deep Shinto rituals and beliefs, where maintenance of purity is paramount. While we have many terms to not to have to refer to defecating directly, like “going number two”, the Japanese are very comfortable with bowel movement vocabulary. I remember Japanese comic books like Dr. Slump, where the protagonist, Arare-chan, would run around town with a personified poo characterunchi-kun (poo-boy). So, it wasn’t much of a surprise when I read that the possession/deployment of electronic bidet toilet seats was one of the economic indicators the Japanese government tracked, alongside more common consumer electronics, like mobile phones and personal computers, used by other countries. What did surprise me was that Korea seemed to be just as comfortable with the concept of defecation appearing in public. Seoul’s Children’s museum had an exhibit for poo. It might not be too much longer before the Korean government starts tracking the proliferation of electronic toilet seats as one of their economic indicators.

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This entry was posted on May 2, 2015 by in Culture, Japan, Travel and tagged , , , , , .
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