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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Friday, October 28, 2005


A gents in a park in Japan

A gents in a park in Japan
Originally uploaded by timtak.
There is no door to this gentleman's toilet in a park in Yamaguchi. The park is in a residential area, along the side of the Fushino River in central Yamaguchi City. During the cherry blossom season the park is popular as a place to hold "flower watching" parties. When the weather is fine there are usually people walking their dogs, playing baseball, football or dodge ball or occasionally with remote control aeroplanes.

This means that if men or boys wish to urinate they must do so in full view of other users of the park. People from Anglophone cultures may feel very uncomfortable with this Japanese custom. I believe this is because there is a stronger taboo upon things associated with sex.

In Japan, on the other hand, there is a greater taboo associated with the sexuality of women (such as birth). Toilets for women always have doors. Japanese women’s toilets, also occasionally have devices for hiding the sound of the falling urine, by broadcasting the sound of a toilet flushing. Before such devices were available, Japanese women were, for the same reason, inclined to flush the toilet more than once during and after use.

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.