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Friday, Jan. 23, 2009

Toilets take center stage at exhibition


Staff writer

As if the scandals of the last few years were not enough, Japan's sumo fraternity must now suffer the indignity of having its toilets exhibited in public.

A sample of the super-sized sitters installed at the home of sumo wrestling, the Ryogoku Kokugikan, forms one of the highlights of the "Toire Hakubutsukan" (Toilet Museum) exhibition, which is currently under way at the showroom of toilet-maker Toto in Tachikawa, Tokyo. The oversize toilet bowl is reportedly 5 cm wider and 7 cm longer than usual.

Meanwhile, among the exhibition's other toilet treats, history buffs are sure to enjoy seeing a quarter-size model of the field toilet on which the famed feudal lord Takeda Shingen reportedly mulled strategies during the Warring States Period (1467-1568).

There are also displays of Yayoi (300 B.C.-A.D. 300) and Heian Period (794-1185) toilets, early ceramic toilets made by Toto, a female urinal and a collection of toilet papers from around the world assembled by Toto's employees.

Admission is free, Tokyo show ends Jan. 27, moves to Kasugai, Aichi Prefecture Feb. 5-9. Toto Tachikawa Showroom is near Izumi Taiikukan Station on the Tama Toshi Monorail Line. Call 042-537-1010 for further details.


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