Why Do Japanese People Value "Poop"?Harvard University Professor Gives Lecture in Kyoto
Why do Japanese people value "poop"? A lecture to explain the culture of the Edo Period from such a unique perspective was held on July 15, on Kyoto Uzumasa Campus of Kyoto Gakuen University, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto. David Howell, a professor of early modern Japanese history at Harvard University, USA, exhausted the topic of the charms of "poop" which can be used as fertilizer and for other purposes.
Professor Howell mentioned that farmers around Edo City bought human waste from the residents of the city as "fertilizer." He explained its great usefulness in society indicating that the shogunate government, even on the verge of its collapse, was attentive to the distribution of human waste as fertilizer. He even said, "Excretion was conveyed to rural areas so smoothly that the hygienic environment of Edo was better than that of Europe in the same time period."
He shared an anecdote from his days in Japan as an international student in the 1980s where he was shocked to see that "poop" appeared in comic books as cute characters. He raised a lot of laughs with his hypothesis that "The idea that poop is useful as fertilizer probably led to such characters in comic books."(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)