The Japanese poop of luck

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Being out of work has allowed a bit of an opportunity to do some poop reporting -- something I really haven't had a chance to do for quite a while. I ran across this article regarding gold poop in Japan (login: b00y44@dodgeit.com pw: bugmenot) in a kind of "Dear Abby" for Japanese culture -- and it sheds a lot of light on the Japanese relationship with poop.


Dear Alice,

While browsing through the souvenir shops on a recent layover at Narita Airport, I came across a very curious Japanese good-luck charm. It featured -- I kid you not -- a gold poop which, by the way, looked disturbingly like soft ice cream! Why poop? Why gold poop? Personally, I can't see anything felicitous in feces. Please tell me what the heck I'm missing.

-- Diane O., Redmond, Washington, USA



Dear Diane,

What you're missing is a pleasing piece of word play. The product you saw is called Kin no Unko (The Golden Poo), a name that plays on the fact that the Japanese word for poop (unko) starts with the same "oon" sound as a completely unrelated word that means "luck." Japanese enjoy this kind of pun -- traditional storytelling is full of them -- which may help explain why more than 2.5 million of the lucky little loads have sold in the last seven years.

{...} Professor Takeshi Mitsuhashi looked the product over carefully, nodded thoughtfully, and gave me just the story I had come for. Mitsuhashi explained that there are many word plays in Japanese religion because puns make information easier to teach and remember. One example is a talisman in the shape of a frog used to pray for the safe return of a loved one, the pun being that the word for frog (kaeru) is a synonym of the verb "to return." "This Golden Poo is very much part of that tradition," Mitsuhashi asserted.

Furthermore, there is a long history of poo-related worship in Japan, according to Mitsuhashi. "There are more gods in the Shinto religion than it is possible to count, and they reside just about everywhere, inhabiting natural things like trees, rocks and waterfalls," he said. "Bodily functions are very important -- think what a problem it would be if a person couldn't defecate or urinate properly -- so it's natural that people worshipped deities linked to these functions." Mitsuhashi, who is in his 60s, remembers his parents burying a pair of god figures, one male and one female, under the privy in his childhood home.

At the risk of getting too graphic, I really must address shape because everyone I spoke to brought it up. Diane, you described the Kin no Unko as looking "disturbing like soft ice cream," while Fujii, its creator, expressed it as a "nice tatsumaki-shape (tornado-shape)."

The difference in perception may lie in toilet types: a Japanese-style toilet consists of a shallow basin built into the floor over which you squat. There's little or no water in the basin until you flush the toilet. So to someone who grew up using Japanese-style toilets, a healthy result would be in the shape of a spiral pile.

The goose that laid the golden egg? No thanks, I'd much rather be the goof that laid the golden poop. PoopReport friends -- and you know who you are -- a preview of next year's Christmas presents!

25 Comments on "The Japanese poop of luck"

The Big Wiper's picture
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I don't know. That gold-plated design could just as easily be a dollop of Dream Whip or some sort of elaborate Hershey's kiss. I wouldn't automatically assume such a piece of jewelry was supposed to emulate poop.

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Anonymous Coward's picture
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Uh, wiper, did you even read the article? Or did scroll to the bottom after looking at the pretty pictures?

GottaGoGirl's picture
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TBW, I wouldn't be opposed to wearing one of those for luck, but if anyone asked, I'd SAY it was ice cream! :)

The Big Wiper's picture
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Anonymous Coward: Of course I read the article. And what I said goes: the jewelry is beautiful.

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

The Shit Volcano's picture
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Poop means luck in Japan? Calico cats are also good luck in Japan. When I scoop my catbox after my calico uses it, it must stir up some super luck. Hmm... Maybe I should sell it on e-bay.

_______
Behold! My new farting super power! BRAPP!!!

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

Mary Queen of Scats's picture
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For some reason, I've been sitting here pondering the "normal" shape of shit.

I can't remember even one time in my life when I would've produced a pile of poo that looked like that lucky little charm.

Maybe I could try crapping when the toilet is semi-empty to see if the lack of water padding makes my log into a neat pile like the charm.

_______
It's YOUR cat, YOU get his poop out of my sink!

Bad kitty! Bathtubs are NOT litterboxes!

Anal About Poop's picture
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Who make Lucky Charms Cereal? Is it Kellogg’s or General Mills? They really need to take a look at this lucky charm and maybe add this one to the box. It can be a brown marshmallow.
Mommy! Mommy! There's poo in my cereal!

GottaGoGirl's picture
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If Lucky Charms are marketed in Japan, maybe there's already an unko in the mix!

The Big Wiper's picture
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The Japanese have always had a very unique culture. Everything from geishas to kabuki to houses made of rice paper. Since joining this site over four years ago, I've also learned about their fascination with *unko.* That they should consider aspects of the subject 'golden,' really doesn't surprise me.

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Anal About Poop's picture
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TBW, now that you mention it the only videos I've ever seen of people eating shit where Japanese business men. I'm sure it's just a coinkidink.

The Big Wiper's picture
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I'm suddenly reminded that some of the worst films ever made came out of Japan. Let's get serious here: using children's toys and erector sets for special effects in movies like 'Godzilla,' 'Mothra,' 'Rodan,' and others.

So perhaps it's not surprising that Japan should lead the way in scat videos, too. Oh, and I'd be willing to bet those 'businessmen' were third-rate actors or just guys trying to make a buck.

What a yucky way to make a buck, BTW!

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Miss Simone Scat's picture
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I am on a quest to go to Harwin Dr. here in Houston to find a "poop" charm.
Producing waste since 1967

Producing waste since 1967

Toots N. McCrack's picture
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Now THERE'S a turd you can polish!

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'Hey that sounds pretty nasty, how about a courtesy flush over there?' (AP1)

'Hey that sounds pretty nasty, how about a courtesy flush over there?' (AP1)

Mrs. Mad Crapper's picture
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I think I'll have to find some golden poos to give out as Mother's Day presents. I'm sure everyone will LOVE them!
_______
Earth, insane asylum for the universe.

Earth, insane asylum for the universe.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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You can find the golden poos online Mrs MC, they would indeed make unique gifts. Some who commented above said they had never done a poo that had that particular shape. The traditional Japanese diet is extremely high in fiber. This not only gives them longevity but also gives them Dairy Queen shaped turds. During my time in Japan I frequently went for weeks and sometimes months eating a strict Japanese diet. During these periods I squirted out many a soft-serve poo that resembled the kin no unko in shape, if not in color. Now that KFC and the golden arches are becoming common in the land of the rising sun there are probably many loaves being pinched that have no resemblance to the golden poos of yesterday.

The Japanese word for good luck is 'fuku', but the word for good fortune is 'koun' the sound 'uun' parallels the 'uun' sound in unko. The Japanese are fond of puns and wordplay which makes much of their humor impossible to translate accurately.

Now if I may be excused I feel a lucky poo coming on, I had a high fiber meal last night.
_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

Mrs. Mad Crapper's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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I will never understand Japanese humor. But I like it just the same. I was kidding about giving them out as presents though, my family would all have a shit fit if I presented them with these golden poos.
_______
Earth, insane asylum for the universe.

Earth, insane asylum for the universe.

Poopsy McGee's picture
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What's that Japanese porn where they roll up and shit in their own mouths? Is that bukaki? Or is bukaki gizz on the face?

The Japanese are impossibly pervy. You'd never think so with all that bowing and those coy little giggles. But, where else could you buy worn undies from vending machines to get your sniff fix?

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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Poopsy..... the Japanese word for shower is bukaki and the jizz in the face thing is indeed called bukaki. I lived long enough in Japan (8 years) that I can assure you the vast majority of the population are not in the least pervy. Of course, thank goodness, enough of them were to help make my stay enjoyable. To classify them all in the same category would be like saying all Texans are cowboys, or all Tennesseans are hillbillies. The truth is that only most Tennesseans are hillbillies and all Texans wish they were cowboys.
_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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Poopsy......I was just thinking about how funny it would be if the used undies had been worn by homeless bums. After all I imagine one ass smells pretty much like another, and it would help the homeless financially.
_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

The Phantom Poo's picture
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so... anyone know where to get one of these in America?

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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Dear Phantom Poo.....I could recommend several shops in Tokyo but unfortunately know of no source in America. If you would accept a
"Karakane no unko" (bronzed turd), I can send you one of my own manufacture. They are a little large so will probably bring you extra "fuku" (good luck).


_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

Anonymous Coward's picture
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you can get it at thinkGeek.com. I just got mine in the mail. no one has noticed it yet. i put it on my keychain.

RacheyBaby99's picture
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Why show pictures? lol

Pervy Old Man's picture
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RacheyBaby99, How else would you know what they looked like? How is your sister RacheyBaby69 doing? I would like to gaze into her brown eye, er, I mean...brown eyes.