This article on Salon tries to shed some light on the mystery on why poo, or more specifically maki guso -- which, apparentely, is a rough translation to "curlicue poo" -- is so popular in Japan.
The recent poop-centric Gakkyu-o Yamazaki (Classroom King) cartoon on TV is a video version of the comic book with the same name. It features the adventures of a schoolboy locked in battle with his bowel movements. Unique as that may sound, Gakkya-o Yamazaki is not the first popularization of poo in a kids cartoon. Ugo Ugo Ruuga (Go Go Girl, jumbled up), an infamously hallucinogenic kids show of the early 90s, featured a pointy-headed excretum that emerged from the toilet and spouted Western philosophy.
And the poop apparently cannot be confined to television and comics. School kids who need good fortune and fortitude during the tribulations of exam time can buy keychains festooned with dangling blue poo, each wearing a headband and a fierce scowl of concentration on its face. This turd trinket is for students who are fighting for gokaku un, or luck in passing exams.
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