Make this exhibition your No. 2 stop
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Make this exhibition your No. 2 stop

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A couple, above sit on toilet bowls and eat poop-shaped treats.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, Japanese for poop. A woman, top, poses with large poop-shaped figurines.

YOKOHAMA >> 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 — really nothing like the real thing — and comes in twisty ice cream and cupcake shapes, in all colors and sizes.

“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 similar items have long been popular, 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.

Each visitor to the museum gets a short video introduction and then is asked to sit on one of seven colorful, nonfunctional 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. A ceiling-high poop sculpture in the main hall erupts every 30 minutes, spitting out little foam poops.

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

In another room, players use a projection- mapping game similar to “whack-a-mole” to squash as many poops they can. In another game, participants compete to make the biggest “poop” by shouting the word in Japanese, “Unko!,” as loudly as possible. A soccer game uses a controller to “kick” a poop into a goal.

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

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 its first month after opening in March. It will remain open until September. Visit ale-box.com/unko museum.


Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.


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