When Poo Is Coo

#Culture

Wed, Jan 30th, 2002 22:51 by capnasty NEWS

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.

I suppose that, from the land that offers previously-worn panties for sale in vending machines and has games such as these, Japan has long stopped surprising me.

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 kid’s cartoon. “Ugo Ugo Ruuga” (“Go Go Girl,” jumbled up), an infamously hallucinogenic kid’s 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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