Poopman Plans Flash Mob in Shibuya This Sunday
Ah, Halloween. That magical, wonderful time of year when grown adults are free to wander the streets dressed in whatever silly costume they please, whether it be monsters, cultural icons, or… poop?!?
That’s right, Poopman is hitting the streets of Tokyo on October 30. He’s planning a flash mob through Shibuya on 6 PM. Hopeful participants are to meet at the Cafe & Bar VANDALISM at Shibuya Center Gai at 5 PM, where they can change into Poopman and Poopwoman costumes. The street parade will be followed at 7 PM with a concert/party by Poopman and the PooPriders. Prices vary; those only interested in renting a poop hat and joining the party can pay 4,000 yen ($38) for adults and 2,000 yen ($19) for kids, while buying the costume will involve anywhere between 5,000 yen ($47.75) (for elementary school-age children) to 10,000 yen ($95) for men.
“Poopman” is the alter ego of Akihiko Koseki, the president of the video game company Dice Creative, Inc. He first developed the mascot to promote Dice Creative‘s mobile game PooPride, which stars a variety of different turds and challenges players to race them and stop as close as possible to a cliff’s edge. He was inspired by his love of poop in childhood and a desire to break a social taboo around the substance. But as he traveled to gaming events dressed in his bright yellow getup, he realized that poop makes people happy, and has since used the character to spread joy and laughter. Now he wanders the streets, delighting scatologically-minded kids and salarymen recovering from a crappy day of work. He has organized “Poopman Miracle Workshops” which “have helped liberate over 200 people from negativity to find greater happiness and enjoyment in life” and “[aim] to make more people laugh and smile through the power of poop.”
If you’re curious what it’s like to go around dressed as a yellow turd, Poopman’s press release breaks it down:
- You get to make other people smile
- You make more friends (the Poopman outfit is a great conversation starter!)
- Lots of children and parents smile at you
- You get a good read on other people’s mood (people who are in a relaxed frame of mind give you a smile)
- Standing out with the outrageous outfit makes you more self-aware and thoughtful
- Kids pay attention to what you are doing, which makes you more aware of following rules for good behavior (such as not jay walking, etc.)
- You get rid of self-consciousness and don’t care what other people think about your appearance, which makes it easier to live with integrity
- You standout in a crowd, which makes it easier to meet up with people at large events, etc.
- At first you feel embarrassed
- Sometimes people ignore you or are condescending
- In rare occasions you might be verbally attacked
- A few friends won’t like your Poopman outfit
- It takes a little extra time to make sure that it’s OK to visit workplaces and shops dressed as Poopman (although that extra effort makes you more considerate)
- The full-body leotard means you need to be strategic about when you go to the bathroom
- The leotard is hot in the winter and cold in the summer
- Sometimes you feel nervous about distracting kids on bicycles and car drivers and causing accidents.
Poopman has also found that women, children, creative types and foreigners especially appreciate his shtick. This has led him to frequent areas with many foreign tourists (like Kyoto and Tokyo’s Asakusa and Odaiba districts) and even visit foreign countries (Germany, Vietnam, South Korea and China).
Poopman plops into Gamescom in Koeln, Germany
Although considered an embarrassing topic, poop and toilet humor is hardly unknown in Japanese pop culture; the manga Dr. Slump frequently celebrates poop, and a popular Japanese children’s book centers around its title: Everybody Poops.