Feb 17, 2019
From March this year new sensation amusement space Unko Museum Yokohama (うんこミュージアム YOKOHAMA) will lift the lid on the history and culture of poop in a temporary facility near Yokohama Station that museum creators speculate will be the first of its kind in the world.
Unko Museum Yokohama comprises four zones each exploring a different aspect of excrement (as well as a playful pun based on the theme). Museum visitors can learn about the history of poop and poop from around the world at the Untelligence Area (ウンテリジェンスエリア) while poop-based games can be enjoyed at the Unteractive Area (ウンタラクティブエリア). Those who are tiring of SNS buzzword “instabae” may find pastures new and quirky at the photogenic Unstagenic Area (ウンスタジェニックエリア). Unko Hiroba rounds out the museum experience where, somewhat alarmingly, poop is projected out of large objects, according to a museum press release.
The poop museum will be open from March 15 to July 15 in new entertainment complex Asobuild, itself set to open in conjunction with the museum at a site near to Yokohama train station.
For museum creators, Kamakura-based Kayak Inc., the temporary facility was born from a desire to redefine the value of unko in Japan and around the world as well as, through unko, touch upon the cultures of other countries and create a community that reaches across age and race, according to the press release.
While it might seem fanciful to hope that poop can be the focal point for community building, the people at Kayak Inc. have had their eyes on the theme for some time, recognizing the use of poop in SNS communication tool the emoji, and the popularity of poop in a variety of quirky commercial goods.
In 2017 poop became an unlikely hit in Japan when it was used to anchor the learning experience in the educational book series, Unko Kanji Drill. But the minds behind the Unko Museum Yokohama trace their own interactions with excrement back even earlier to 2011 with the release of Unko Enzan, a mobile application aimed at making mathematics and arithmetic more fun for elementary school students.
Kayak Inc. have since followed through (pun intended) with their online lecture service UN高 (unkoo) in 2018 and the development of the Unko Meigen Bot (うんこ名言bot) which dispenses life-lessons through the world of poop to audiences on Twitter.
“Cherish each poop, please. A slight difference every day appears as a big difference in life.” Tweet from the Twitter account of Unko Meigen Bot (@unkoo_bot).
Advance tickets for Unko Museum Yokohama went on sale online from February 12 and on ticket-booking platform e+ on the 16th. Visitors during the first three days of the museum opening will receive a special gift (although we’re nervous about what that could be considering the theme).
According to the press release, the museum’s creators think that theirs could be the first of its kind in the world while recognizing that Britain already boasts of a poo museum -- possibly referring to the National Poo Museum -- and a toilet museum in South Korea which is also said to feature exhibits about excrement.
Unko Museum Yokohama (うんこミュージアム YOKOHAMA)
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