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文化・歴史

Trace the history of poop and toilets that supported Japan's development!

ニッポンの発展を支えた、うんこと便所の歴史をたどる!

Go, see and feel the world of art
File.26 Kawasaki City Japanese Folk House Garden Poop and Life - From Toilet to Fertilizer
Miyuki Inoue (Magcal Editorial Department)

Kawasaki City Japanese Folk House Garden, located in Ikuta Ryokuchi, is an open-air museum with a total of 25 old folk houses, including 7 nationally designated important cultural properties, scattered over a spacious site of approximately 30,000 square meters. The lush greenery of the park, where you can enjoy seasonal flowers, is perfect for bringing a packed lunch with you.
A very unique exhibition is being held in such a peaceful landscape.
The title is ``Living with poop - from toilets to fertilizer.''
What a straightforward title. I have to go for this!

After purchasing a ticket at the main entrance, we first visited the exhibition room in the main building.
The exhibition is divided into four chapters, starting with an introduction to the various tools used in toilets, which are essential to our daily lives, and providing an easy-to-understand display of how human waste has been used and disposed of. ing.

Although "poop" is the main character in the title, let's start with the "urine bottle" collection.
The chubby form is cute and the colors are colorful. The rakugo story ``Shibin'' begins with a samurai who visits a second-hand goods store and buys what he thinks is a vase, but it seems like a very likely story.

This is a urinal and footrest for men. You could call it "usual beauty," and it strangely feels like it doesn't look out of place even when it's in a display case.
It also introduces the history of using feces as fertilizer and how Kawasaki City was the first city in the country to use a vacuum truck. It's a compact exhibition, but if you take a closer look, you'll find it to be surprisingly profound.

After learning about the process from the toilet to the manure, let's take a look at the Obenjo Map and do a field survey at an old folk house in the park.
Let's start with the Suzuki Family Residence, a horse inn (hatago) on Oshu Kaido.

This is a toilet next to the guest room, and seems to have been used primarily by guests. The inside is divided into two parts: a toilet and a urinal.

Next is the Sasaki Family Residence in Shinshu.
The urinal next to the entrance (back right of the photo) is for family use. Although it was mainly for men, it was also used by women when no one was around, giving it a relaxed feel of the times. It seems that the toilet was in a separate shed.

Since the Sasaki family was a feudal lord, they had a toilet for their guests when they received guests such as government officials. Since it is located at the back of the room, it is usually not open to the public, but this time it is being specially opened to the public from the back side.

Surprisingly, there are tatami mats.
At that time, even the head of the household did not use tatami mats in daily life, so it must have been a very high-class toilet.

The ``Yamada Family Residence'' is built in a gassho style, and even the toilet is built in a gassho style!
The small hut in the foreground is a toilet called ``Henchagoya''. It also served as a fertilizer shed, and was apparently connected to the main house by a covered bridge.

The Sakuta family residence was a seine fishing net operator at Kujukurihama in Chiba Prefecture.

This is a toilet for visitors, with a urinal in the front and a toilet in the back.
Even though no one is using it, it feels a little strange to peek into the toilet...

This is the urinal in front. From what I feel now, it might be quite spacious.

This is the toilet in the back.
It may be new to young children, but this type of toilet was common until Western-style toilets became popular.

The Kitamura Family Residence, relocated from Hadano City, Kanagawa Prefecture, is the home of the head of the village, a farmer who cultivated tobacco leaves.

The family urinal is located next to the entrance, just like the Sasaki house.
Apparently the toilet was in a separate hut, but the Kitamura family said, ``If the toilet is dirty, the family won't prosper,'' so the children cleaned the toilet every morning.

Next is the outside toilet of the Koizumi family in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture. It was located behind the main house, and was apparently surrounded by a hedge so that it could not be seen from outside.
The right one is for defecating, the left one is for urinating. The urine and urine that had collected in the toilet bowl was transferred to a manure sump, fermented for two to three months, and then used as compost for the fields. In the sense that it was indispensable for growing crops, there is no doubt that compost made from urine and urine contributed to the development of Japanese society.

If you look into the ``Agricultural Tools Shed Exhibition Room'' next to it, you will also see manure buckets and other items on display.

The last stop is the toilet of the Kudo Family Residence, a nationally designated important cultural property that was relocated from Iwate Prefecture. It's a large building for a toilet, but it also served as a storeroom, and it was also used to store ash and other materials used as fertilizer.

The inside looks like this. It has a simple structure with two boards placed over a ``toilet pot'' that stores feces. It's OK to stand on the board here, so you can step over the toilet bowl and get a feel of the old days.
However, please note that it is not allowed to actually use it.

“Of course, old folk houses also have toilets.Since they were popular with children, I wanted to someday hold an exhibition focusing on them.Since this was a great opportunity, I would like to take a look at what happened to things that came out of toilets. Please also think about it.”
said curator Rina Tamai.

The urine and urine collected from toilets was once effectively used as nutrient-rich manure for growing vegetables. It is only natural that the nature of toilets will change with urbanization. However, urinating and urinating will always occur as long as humans are alive. I would like to use this exhibition as an opportunity to think about what happens beyond defecation, rather than thinking about it as the end.

This event has ended.
《Poop and life - from toilet to fertilizer》
[Duration] Until Sunday, May 31, 2020
[Time] 9:30-17:00
[Location] Kawasaki City Japanese Folk House Main Building Exhibition Room
[Price] Free (admission fee required)

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