Even poop is cute at Japanese museum that encourages play

Japan_Poop_Museum_12251 In this Tuesday, June 18, 2019, photo, two boys jokingly take cover as small toy poops gush from a giant poop-shaped inflatable at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. In a country known for its cult of cute, even poop is not an exception. A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, a Japanese word for poop. The poop installations there get their cutest makeovers. They come in the shape of soft cream, or cupcake toppings. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Japan_Poop_Museum_92322 In this Tuesday, June 18, 2019, photo, a woman jokingly poses with large poop-shaped figurines at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. In a country known for its cult of cute, even poop is not an exception. A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, a Japanese word for poop. The poop installations there get their cutest makeovers. They come in the shape of soft cream, or cupcake toppings. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Japan_Poop_Museum_23748 In this Tuesday, June 18, 2019, photo, two women jokingly motion to give a push while sitting on colorful toilet bowls at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. In a country known for its cult of cute, even poop is not an exception. A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, a Japanese word for poop. The poop installations there get their cutest makeovers. They come in the shape of soft cream, or cupcake toppings. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Japan_Poop_Museum_81970 In this Tuesday, June 18, 2019, photo, a visitor reaches into a toilet bowl to pick up a toy poop at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. In a country known for its cult of cute, even poop is not an exception. A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, a Japanese word for poop. The poop installations there get their cutest makeovers. They come in the shape of soft cream, or cupcake toppings. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Japan_Poop_Museum_10250 In this Monday, July 1, 2019, photo, a young boy plays a video game at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. In a country known for its cult of cute, even poop is not an exception. A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, a Japanese word for poop. The poop installations there get their cutest makeovers. They come in the shape of soft cream, or cupcake toppings. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Japan_Poop_Museum_21708 In this Tuesday, June 18, 2019, photo, a couple shares a light moment while sitting on toilet bowls at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. In a country known for its cult of cute, even poop is not an exception. A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, a Japanese word for poop. The poop installations there get their cutest makeovers. They come in the shape of soft cream, or cupcake toppings. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Japan_Poop_Museum_54214 In this Tuesday, June 18, 2019, photo, poop-shaped lights hang in a room at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. In a country known for its cult of cute, even poop is not an exception. A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, a Japanese word for poop. The poop installations there get their cutest makeovers. They come in the shape of soft cream, or cupcake toppings. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Japan_Poop_Museum_09002 In this Tuesday, June 18, 2019, photo, a woman watches a clip while waiting to enter the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. In a country known for its cult of cute, even poop is not an exception. A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, a Japanese word for poop. The poop installations there get their cutest makeovers. They come in the shape of soft cream, or cupcake toppings. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Japan_Poop_Museum_78543 In this Tuesday, June 18, 2019, photo, a man with a poop-shaped figurine on a stick is seen through a window frame at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. In a country known for its cult of cute, even poop is not an exception. A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, a Japanese word for poop. The poop installations there get their cutest makeovers. They come in the shape of soft cream, or cupcake toppings. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Japan_Poop_Museum_53472 In this Monday, July 1, 2019, photo, a "Do Not Touch" sign in the shape of poop is seen at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, South of Tokyo. In a country known for its cult of cute, even poop is not an exception. A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, a Japanese word for poop. The poop installations there get their cutest makeovers. They come in the shape of soft cream, or cupcake toppings. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Japan_Poop_Museum_28368 In this Tuesday, June 18, 2019, photo, two women draw on toilet-shaped boards at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. In a country known for its cult of cute, even poop is not an exception. A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, a Japanese word for poop. The poop installations there get their cutest makeovers. They come in the shape of soft cream, or cupcake toppings. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Japan_Poop_Museum_27091 In this Tuesday, June 18, 2019, photo, poop-shaped cupcakes are displayed in a room at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. In a country known for its cult of cute, even poop is not an exception. A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, a Japanese word for poop. The poop installations there get their cutest makeovers. They come in the shape of soft cream, or cupcake toppings. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Japan_Poop_Museum_67071 In this Monday, July 1, 2019, photo, a group of children try to catch small toy poops gushing from a giant poop-shaped inflatable at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. In a country known for its cult of cute, even poop is not an exception. A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, a Japanese word for poop. The poop installations there get their cutest makeovers. They come in the shape of soft cream, or cupcake toppings. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Japan_Poop_Museum_53700 In this Monday, July 1, 2019, photo, visitors laugh as they jokingly motion to give a push while sitting on colorful toilet bowls at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. In a country known for its cult of cute, even poop is not an exception. A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, a Japanese word for poop. The poop installations there get their cutest makeovers. They come in the shape of soft cream, or cupcake toppings. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Japan_Poop_Museum_22327 In this Tuesday, June 18, 2019, photo, a message is written on a poop-shaped mirror at the Unko Museum in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. In a country known for its cult of cute, even poop is not an exception. A pop-up exhibition at the Unko Museum in the port city of Yokohama is all about unko, a Japanese word for poop. The poop installations there get their cutest makeovers. They come in the shape of soft cream, or cupcake toppings. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Japan’s culture of cute makes no exceptions for poop. It gets a pop twist at the Unko Museum in Yokohama near Tokyo.

Here, the poop is artificial, nothing like what would be in a toilet, and comes in twisty ice cream and cupcake shapes, in all colors and sizes.

“The poops are colorful and come out nicely in photos,” said Haruka Okubo, a student visiting part of the museum devoted to all-important selfies. “The shape is so round and cute.”

In Japan, little poop-shaped erasers with faces and other small items have long been popular items collected by children, and sometimes older folks. As elsewhere, scatological jokes are popular and bodily functions discussed openly: a recent morning variety show by public broadcaster NHK featured tips on how to deal with farts.

Visitors to the museum get a short video introduction and then are asked to sit on one of seven colorful, non-functional toilets lined up against the wall.

Music plays as a user pretends to poop, then a brightly colored souvenir “poop” can be collected from inside the toilet bowl, to be taken home after the tour.

A ceiling-high poop sculpture in the main hall erupts every 30 minutes, spitting out little foam poops.

The “Unstagenic” area of Instagram-worthy installations includes pastel-hued flying poops and a neon sign with the word “poop” written in different languages.

In another room, players use a projection-mapping game like “whack-a-mole” to stamp on and squash the most poops they can. In another game, participants compete to make the biggest “poop” by shouting the word in Japanese, “unko,” as loudly as possible.

A soccer video game involves using a controller to “kick” a poop into a goal.

Toshifumi Okuya, a system engineer, was amused to see adults having fun. “It’s funny because there are adults running around screaming ‘poop, poop,'” he said.

At the end of the tour, visitors get a bag to carry home their souvenir poop. If they want still more, the museum’s gift shop abounds with more poop-themed souvenirs.

The museum attracted more than 100,000 visitors in the first month after its opening in March. It will remain open until September.

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Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.

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Unko museum: https://ale-box.com/unkomuseum/

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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