I have, in fact, pooped in it.
All of this occurred while I was in the Nikko area of Tochigi-ken, Japan doing a spot of what some people call fishing, but what I call "owww, please take that hook out of the back of my neck."
Really. I hooked my own neck.
My pal Michael Hutchison had invited me from my haunts of Ohtawara-shi to his house in Nikko. His gorgeous wife was an AET (assistant English teachers) on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme back in 1991, while he worked with the fisheries department, specifically on Japan's trout species.
So I went fishing for Rainbow trout at Lake Chuzenji (Chuzenji-ko). I took the photo below that day.
|Chuzenji-ko (Lake Chuzenji) in Nikko. Photo by Andrew Joseph. That's me!|
Anyhow… after much luck for the fish, I had to poop. Michael took me around to a secret area - a small building with a toilet - where the Emperor would go poop when he came up to fish in the area… and so, I have boldly gone where no man has ever dared go before.
Now… while I was sitting there, I didn't see any toilet paper… but since this is Japan, I always carry a pack of tissues with me for just such an emergency, though I will admit it wasn't too often that I had to poop in public. There is no toilet paper in a Japanese public washroom.
|He doesn't want you to pull his finger... he wants you to smell it. Ahhhh, Japan. It smells like a Royal Flush.|
But back home… what would the Emperor use? It would have to be something special…. I mean… he actually has his own chopsticks made by a man officially designated as a National Living Treasure. I know, because before I left Ohtawara-shi, the Living Treasure presented me with a number of chopsticks personally carved by him.
That's what they said... I'm sure I was drunk at the time.
Anyhow… for the past five years, the Emperor of Japan has had his ass pampered by a brand of toilet paper called Hanebisho that costs about US/Cdn $17 a roll… but of course, it only comes (officially) in packs of three (¥5,000) or eight for ¥10,000.
At least they are cutting the Emperor a deal.
Now.. of course, Hanebisho is not just a toilet paper made ONLY for the Emperor's new groove or his family… they will make it for anyone who thinks their ass matches their wallet.
But… one would wonder… they only make 150 rolls of toilet paper a day.
|Hanebisho is a work of (f)art.|
With such a small output—the toilet paper manufacturer's output… I have no idea what sort of output the Emperor has—I might assume (never assume) that their entire output is solely for the Japanese Royal family.
So… what is so special about this toilet paper?
Well… first off, the paper comes from the highest quality wood fiber pulp from Canada. (Yay, Canada!). The pulp is then treated with water from the Niyodo-gawa (Niyodo River) in Shikoku, Japan. Shikoku is the smallest of the four main islands of Japan, and is immediately east of the island of Kyushu.
Editor's note: All the stories I have read on this product on the Internet simply state that the river mentioned is the Nyodo River, but does not state where that is. I couldn't find it.
Hey... (trumpeting own horn) at least I do my best to find the correct information, rather than blindly copying the original source that got it wrong (clucking his tongue derisively).
But, I did find a Niyodo-gawa, and it is therefore my assumption that it should state the Niyodo River… which, was the #1 river in 2010 according to the Japanese National River Water Quality ranking.
Because the toilet paper is made with heat, to provide a soft, and I mean royally soft ply, it is dried slower than regular toilet paper… which makes it extra light and fluffy.
And, because every day's heat and humidity is different, the company adjusts its drying process, so you can be sure that any roll of toilet paper made on different days is never made the same way. That's quality assurance. That's why only 150 rolls a day.
Now… as a watermark… to denote how special it is, the manufacturer writes its name and date of production on each roll… and each roll is then sent along to the company president who personally inspects it.
I have no idea if that means giving it a feel test. Get it? Like a field test! I kill me.
Actually, the president just rubs it against his own skin. So... every time the Emperor wipes his butt, he can be sure the toilet paper has been handled by someone else first. But lovingly.
|Child: "Okaaaaaaa-san! I'm making poopies!"||Mother: "Me, too!"|
I could not determine how many PLY this toilet paper is… but I hope it's a minimum of three-ply.
One-ply? The Emperor is just going to poke his thumb through it and get royal fecal matter upon his royal self, says Andrew bowing in respect. It can happen with two-ply, as well.
When the roll is finished being created, each roll must now be individually wrapped... to stop dirt from getting on it before you get sh!t all over it.
Each roll is hand-wrapped in special Japanese paper known as Tosa-washi… which comes only from Kochi-ken (Kochi Prefecture). To be sure, though, Tosa-washi paper is made from three fibers: Kozo, Gampi, Mitsumata AND... a bit of hemp grown in The Philippines. Hemp is a close relative to marijuana, but lacks the THC content to provide a high... or it does posses the THC, but there's isn't enough for the high. Or maybe it does get your ass high. See PaperConnection.com for more about Tosa-washi.
Depending on the quantity (three or eight), each roll is then placed in special decorative boxes handmade by artisans in Kyoto. Apparently the interior of each handmade box is covered in silver leaf.
The Hanebisho website says its "the ultimate in softness and Japanese modern design".
It also says that it feels "as if your skin is being gently swathed in silk."
All well and good, but this is an ass, we are talking about. Still, I guess nothing's too extravagant for the Emperor. I heard he has a new suit, too.
My ass is jealous… even though it has sat on the Royal throne once. It deserves a roll of Hanebisho.
Let's end this now. I'm wiped.
PS: I've had some fun with the photo captions, with the actual images taken from the Hanebisho website, which is www.fuwafuwa-roll.com... Fuwafuwa is a Japanese kiddie-way of saying how soft and fluffy something is. I constantly had junior high students (girls) making me comfortably by coming up to me to stroke my arm hair while saying that. Although I found it creepy, and so did some of their classmates who would whack them on the back of the head, it is actually soft and fluffy, as use a conditioner.
The actual page for the Emperor's bog roll is HERE.