Poop-shaped cupcakes are displayed in a room at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. Image: AP/Jae C. Hong

LOOK: Even poop is cute at Japanese museum that encourages play

July 04th, 2019
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Japan’s culture of cute makes no exceptions for poop. It gets a pop twist at the Unko Museum in Yokohama near Tokyo.

Here, the poop is artificial, nothing like what would be in a toilet, and comes in twisty ice cream and cupcake shapes, in all colors and sizes.

Japan Poop Museum

A group of children tries to catch small toy poops gushing from a giant poop-shaped inflatable at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. Image: AP/Jae C. Hong

“The poops are colorful and come out nicely in photos,” said Haruka Okubo, a student visiting part of the museum devoted to all-important selfies. “The shape is so round and cute.”

In Japan, little poop-shaped erasers with faces and other small items have long been popular items collected by children, and sometimes older folks. As elsewhere, scatological jokes are popular and bodily functions discussed openly: a recent morning variety show by public broadcaster NHK featured tips on how to deal with farts.

Japan Poop Museum

Poop-shaped cupcakes are displayed in a room at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. Image: AP/Jae C. Hong

Visitors to the museum get a short video introduction and then are asked to sit on one of seven colorful, non-functional toilets lined up against the wall.

Music plays as a user pretends to poop, then a brightly colored souvenir “poop” can be collected from inside the toilet bowl, to be taken home after the tour.

Japan Poop Museum

Two women jokingly motion to give a push while sitting on colorful toilet bowls at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. Image: AP/Jae C. Hong

A ceiling-high poop sculpture in the main hall erupts every 30 minutes, spitting out little foam poops.

Japan Poop Museum

A woman watches a clip while waiting to enter the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. Image: AP/Jae C. Hong

The “Unstagenic” area of Instagram-worthy installations includes pastel-hued flying poops and a neon sign with the word “poop” written in different languages.

Japan Poop Museum

Two women draw on toilet-shaped boards at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. Image: AP/Jae C. Hong

In another room, players use a projection-mapping game like “whack-a-mole” to stamp on and squash the most poops they can. In another game, participants compete to make the biggest “poop” by shouting the word in Japanese, “unko,” as loudly as possible.

Poop-shaped lights hang in a room at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. Image: AP/Jae C. Hong

A soccer video game involves using a controller to “kick” a poop into a goal.

Toshifumi Okuya, a system engineer, was amused to see adults having fun. “It is funny because there are adults running around screaming ‘poop, poop,'” he said.

Japan Poop Museum

Two boys jokingly take cover as small toy poops gush from a giant poop-shaped inflatable at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. Image: AP/Jae C. Hong

At the end of the tour, visitors get a bag to carry home their souvenir poop. If they want still more, the museum’s gift shop abounds with more poop-themed souvenirs.

The museum attracted more than 100,000 visitors in the first month after its opening in March. It will remain open until September. HM/JB

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