entertainment

'Toilet God' song makes a star of songstress

87 Comments

The now infamous "Toilet God" song that Kana Uemura, 28, sang at the 61st annual "Kohaku Uta Gassen" ("Red and White Song Contest) on New Year's Eve, has become a hit with viewers across Japan. The song, which lasts nearly 10 minutes, is dedicated to Uemura's late grandmother.

The song describes how Uemura's grandmother told her that there was a god of beauty living in the toilet and that if she cleaned the toilet carefully, she too would grow up to be beautiful. Provoking laughter in some and tears of sadness in others, the song quickly became a talking point across the country.

Uemura performed the song again this week at the "New Year & Birthday Happy X Happy Party!!" at which she charmed 500 of her fans with four songs in the run-up to her 28th birthday.

Returning home after her "Kohaku" debut, the songstress told the audience that the first thing she did on New Year's Day was, naturally, to clean the toilet. "I was walking to my local train station when a mother and child on a bicycle came over and asked me for my autograph. Then a whole bunch of other people plucked up the courage to ask too," she said. "A journey that usually takes me 10 minutes ended up taking 30. I guess that's the power of the Red and White Song Contest."

Uemura will embark on a live tour of Japan from April.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

87 Comments
Login to comment

My wife says that "Bathroom Goddess" would have been infinitely more accurate in terms of translating the feel and tone of the song, not to mention more lingustically accurate a translation. In Japanese "toire" is used to mean bathroom, not as direct as "toilet" in English. And God is Kami, but the song says Megami, or Goddess.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

toirenokamisama!! I bet they will make children's book out of it soon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After hearing this tune I ran for the Toilet!But Whatever floats your,er,um,,BOAT!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ossan, we're being taught in my Japanese class that "toire" is the actual toilet (and the room it is located in), and "bassurumu" is the room where the o-furo, cleaning "station", sink, and other bathroom items are located. Our sensei is originally from Tokyo so I wonder if it's a regional thing?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have just tried this song "Toirenokamisama" on youtube. She has treasured some unique Japanese ballad melody. The world is full of Gods, we may feel Gods' existences around our lives through our actions. Kana Uemura plays the guitar and sings this song. People may visit Japan and discover more about Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Only in Japan is a "one-hit-wonder du jour" treated like the next John Lennon. Note to self: write an extremely sappy sentimental song, hire a cute chick to sing/cry the lyrics while strumming a guitar. I'll get to retire in no time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fadamor, may be regional, don't know for sure. My wife's from Kyoto. She says the song uses alot of Kansai terms. Japanese use "toire" to mean the bathroom, along with O-tearai. The actual toilet itself can be called toire as well but the term Benki exists. My point is that "Toire" doesn't have the rather specific and somewhat vulgar tone of "Toilet" in English. Also although the title is Toire no Kamisama (God) the lyrics always refer to a "Toire no Megami (Goddess). The article talks about a song where the singer is reminicing about her now dead grandmother. Doubtful that an elderly Japanese grandma would even use "bassuruumu".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In Japanese "toire" is used to mean bathroom, not as direct as "toilet" in English.

Except that in British English, "toilet" means the room as well as the thing. A "bathroom" is where, believe it or not, you have a bath. Hats off to Kana-san for saying it like it is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

toirenokamisama!! I bet they will make children's book out of it soon.

Maybe, but there was a drama about it already which aired last night.

No, I did NOT watch it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just returned from the toilet.

I saw toilet god.

Tears running down my cheeks.

Does that qualify as Haiku?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kyushujoe at 08:03 AM JST - 6th January "In Japanese "toire" is used to mean bathroom, not as direct as "toilet" in English." Except that in British English, "toilet" means the room as well as the >thing. A "bathroom" is where, believe it or not, you have a bath. Hats >off to Kana-san for saying it like it is.

The God of the Water Closet, Lavatory, Outhouse. Chamber Pot, Commode, Can, Potty, whatever....Sheesh...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I agree that bathroom doesn't translate the word "toire" in the song title properly at all unless you are American. Americans may think the word "toilet" has a vulgar tone, but that's not the case in British English-speaking countries where it's a perfectly neutral word. In NZ as well as the UK, the bathroom is where you take a bath, the toilet is the name of the room as well as the porcelain thing, so "bathroom god" would be a totally inaccurate translation- the song has nothing to do with the bathroom as far as I'm concerned.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe her next tune can be about the Throne.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I remember when I moved into college accommodation and an American student came screaming with joy that there was another bathroom at the end of the corridor. I was absolutely disappointed when I found out it was just another toilet. Please, bathroom is where you have a bath, unless some people really do have a bath in the toilet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a stomach-churning cliched "ballad." It just keeps on repeating itself and never seems to end. The toilet analogy would be best used to describe where this song belongs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One hit wonder?

She'll surely follow it up with a 20 minute song called "the pixie of the bidet" or something.

Terrible song, boring and extremely childish.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where do people, children, least like to clean in the house? The little room with the ceramic seat unit. That is what she is singing about.

It's the room, and the unit, and the idea of what goes on in that room. That is 'To-i-re', or 'obenjo' in Japanese. (The ceramic unit itself is 'benki'.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But as every woman makes those ceramic surfaces 'pika pika', shining squeaky clean, she remembers the words of her grandmother now dead, and her own selfishness and then how she grew up and matured. So the song is really about the life process, and human relations, and how to learn to do things you don't want to do, ...with a spoonful of sugar?

Not that I am promoting the song. I've never even heard it, but in order to clear up some of the confusion here I just had a look at the lyrics. Happy New Year folks. ;8)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nandakandamnada; So every woman cleans bogs then? So am i a bird when i do it then?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bet you 10,000 yen we see her appear in a toilet cleaner CM on TV in NO TIME. Set your Tivo!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Only in Japan is a "one-hit-wonder du jour" treated like the next John Lennon. Note to self: write an extremely sappy sentimental song, hire a cute chick to sing/cry the lyrics while strumming a guitar. I'll get to retire in no time.

What can you say, sentimental weepies--especially about grandmothers--are always a big hit with a certain segment of listeners, though this is hardly a Japanese phenomenon. I think you'll find any number of "one-hit wonders" in pop music the world around, both singer-songwriters like Uemura and performers of other peoples' music.

She made an effort to point out, at the press conference for the dramatization of the song, that she's written and performed dozens of other songs, and is determined to not let this one song take over her life as a performer this year. We'll see--it's a fickle business.

I imagine Iruka probably thought the same thing after "Nagori Yuki" was such a hit...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

stevepfc, no, you are a god when you do it! :8)

Actually in my J family none of the women like to do it, neither the wife not the two daughters. I seem to be the only one who doesn't particularly mind. Maybe this song would be a good O-miyage!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just returned from the toilet.

I saw toilet god.

Tears running down my cheeks.

@paulinusa, which cheeks?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

though this is hardly a Japanese phenomenon. I think you'll find any number of "one-hit wonders" in pop music the world around, both singer-songwriters like Uemura and performers of other peoples' music.

True that one hit wonders are everywhere, but it is quintessentially a Japanese phenomenon for something like this to be made into a television drama, along with the countless hours of television time being devoted to this singer over the past week alone. At the wise old age of 28, the media is lushing over her for her countless years of toiling as a struggling singer-songwriter. I'm sorry but she is no Bob Dylan! I give her credit where it's due though - she did what most 28 year olds can't.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Her career is in the toilet.

Can I actually be the first with that?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No probs, paul, just so we are all singing off the same sheet...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry Ossan yr going to have to go home & correct yr misses. Nothing vulgar about "toilet" but I suppose context always plays a roll LOL, now crapper, kaibo, bog or go farther & you can get vulger LOL, wud carry on but I have to go use the you now what, now I am scared to say the word!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This song isn't about toilet/bathroom, it is about the singer and her grandma.. I don't like the title of the song and when I first heard the title, I thought the song would be a big joke, but after listening to it a couple of times on youtube and radio, I liked it so much because it made me think of my own grandma -- didn't make me think about toilet, though ;)

And by the way, toilet DOES mean toire in Australian English, doesn't it? When I was in Australia, people there always used the word toilet, not many used the word bathroom (only when they meant to take a shower, they used the word bathroom).

I had not seen my grandma for years, but after listening to the song and cried for a bit, I quick went online and got tickets to go see her :)))) I love my grandma and while she never taught me how to clean the toire, I used to clean her bedroom as a child and she gave me candy in return -- some of my fond memories with grandma :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ossan-

My wife says that "Bathroom Goddess" would have been infinitely more accurate in terms of translating the feel and tone of the song

She probably said that because in the song there's a line that the grandma says *there is a really beautiful goddess in the bathroom/toire, and if you make sure to keep the bathroom clean all the time, you will be as beautiful as the goddess..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

you can watch the promotional video on youtube posted by Kingrecords. search for 'トイレの神様/植村花菜'. Unfortunately cannot post the link here for some reason.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

for dudes, just sit down when you pee and you won't have to clean as much

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The first time I heard an adult male say to me his favourite song was, "トイレの神様" I thought it was a joke. Then when I heard it was ACTUALLY the title of a song, I thought it was a song for kids. When I heard it (couldn't bear the whole 9 minutes or so) I just shuddered. It may be a sentimental song with deep meaning, but I'm sorry... any song with the title 'Toilet' in it, regardless of whether it refers to the room or the actual benjou she scrubs, any deepness in the song is lost, unless you're potty training a kid or something.

kyushujoe: "A "bathroom" is where, believe it or not, you have a bath. Hats off to Kana-san for saying it like it is."

I suppose you think that a "water closet" is a closet full of water? Don't be so literal, my friend: in many nations the room where you take a bath is the same room with the toilet, hence, "bathroom" can refer to a room with a toilet in it as well as a bathtub. In other nations it's often referred to as a 'washroom', and as Ossan mentioned, there's lavatory, can, komode, etc.

'Toilet' in English can actually sound a little dirty. "Hey, where's your toilet?"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A toilet is a fixture just like the sink and doesn't have any specific meaning attached to it. If you think that the word toilet sounds dirty, I suggest you clean your own a little more often.

Anyways.. guys shouldn't complain about this song: if J-girls hear the repetitive and sappy lyrics enough times, they might really clean our toilets everyday in hopes of staying beautiful.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

'Toilet' in English can actually sound a little dirty.

It can also refer to the act of dressing and grooming yourself. Word definitions change with age.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've worshipped the toilet god a few times. Even had a song to go with it. It would never become a hit though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At least this song is a nice story about a little girl and her gran, like fishy said. It's not like the majority of mindless songs that are playing all around the globe. So she used the word toilet, so what. It was probably one way for her gran to get her to help out around the house and to teach her to be less selfish. Maybe like parents around the world use Santa to try and get kids to act good, since he does check his list twice. It's a nice song, if you don't like it, fine, don't listen to it. It's a lot better than the top ten Oricon songs of 2010. Or are you AKB 48 fans...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good stuff, Ossan.

Surprised no-one said "loo" for British English, or am I showing my age?

Anyone know who won Kohaku? No-one will tell me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

jason6: "If you think that the word toilet sounds dirty, I suggest you clean your own a little more often."

So if you go to a fancy restaurant in the US or Australia or some Western country you stand up and ask the staff where their 'toilet' is? How about a visit to someone's house for dinner? I suppose it's a slight step up from 'Where's your crapper?', but not by much.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe next she can make a song about cleaning hair and gunk from the shower drain and equate it to good times with old friends or something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

'To-i-re' sounds innocent and younger (in Japanese) and 'Te-arai' more adult and more polite. I think the singer wanted to convey her youth with the use of this word.

Just tried getting my students, (Japanese and Chinese) to read the lyrics and they were all touched by it. I asked them for a word to describe the song, and they offered 'Kansha'. Several vowed to be more appreciative of their grandmother.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She is like the Singing Nun and what she actually sings about is an irrelevance.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nandakandamanda: "'To-i-re' sounds innocent and younger (in Japanese) and 'Te-arai' more adult and more polite. I think the singer wanted to convey her youth with the use of this word."

I think you're right -- and it's pretty clear she used the word intentionally. Either way, the end result is the same; this song would NEVER be famous in another country unless the lyrics were changed quite a bit in translation. Even if they changed 'toilet' to refer to the room instead of the fixture and called it 'Bathroom Goddess'.

Whatever. I'm sure it's touching to an extent, but I think putting the word 'toilet' in the song destroys it. I actually thought when the person I mentioned earlier told me it was his favourite song that it was because he has a toddler he is toilet training (ie. I thought it was a song to teach kids how to use the potty).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Smithinjapan, I happily ask wait staff and people whose house I am visiting in my home country where the toilet is, because it just doesn't have any kind of dirty or vulgar connotation there, and asking for the bathroom would confuse people. Funny how the north Americans find it so hard to accept that word usage can be different in other English speaking countries. Seriously, the word toilet is no more vulgar where I come from than "door" is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Uemura’s grandmother told her that there was a god of beauty living in the toilet and that if she cleaned the toilet carefully, she too would grow up to be beautiful.

I find the grandmother to be morally reprehensible. She just makes up lies in order to manipulate others into serving them. I've seen quite a few women here try to pull that. Sorry, I don't care about that Kami-Sama you just made up. I'll do the job based on honest and logical reasons... ...or we can have it your way, "There's a Kami-sama that brings good luck when you give money to foreigners. 10,000 yen notes especially make Kami-sama happy!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

if you go to a fancy restaurant in the US or Australia or some Western country you stand up and ask the staff where their 'toilet' is? How about a visit to someone's house for dinner?

In a restaurant I would ask for the Ladies (I don't think I would ever get shown to the Gents by mistake, but just in case...). In someone's house I would certainly ask for the toilet. If someone came to my house and asked for the bathroom, they'd find towels, soap and a tub, not a loo. That's the next door along.

I think putting the word 'toilet' in the song destroys it.

The word isn't toilet, it's toire. That's exactly the word a little girl and her obaachan would use. Any other word would sound unnatural. Complaining about what it translates to in English and the connotations of the English word is a bit weird. It isn't an English word.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The word toire (トイレ?) is an abbreviated form of the English language word "toilet" and is used both for the toilet itself and for the room where it is located.

The word toilet describes the fixture and, especially in British English, the room containing the fixture. In American English, the latter is euphemistically called a restroom or bathroom.

per wiki

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo: "In a restaurant I would ask for the Ladies"

There you go! I don't blame you for not wanting to ask for the Gents, either. In any place, fancy or not, they are invariably going to be dirtier.

"In someone's house I would certainly ask for the toilet."

Why not the French 'pissoir'? I remember the scene towards the beginning of Hancock where he's drunk out of his mind at Jason Bateman's (character's) house and he asks, "Where's your toilet?" and the Charlize Theron's character gives him a look of disgust. Anyway, in Japanese 'toi-re' can refer to both the room and more recently the fixture IN said room (with the nice heated seats... don't think you need a remote control at arm's reach when you can just reach behind you or the control panel beside you, but hey), but in English 'toilet' refers to the thing you actually defecate and/or urinate into. In Japan they are usually separated from the pre-fab, often plastic shower/bath units, but that doesn't change the fact that in many Western nations, in a full bathroom (not half 'bathroom') they are not. Those rooms are not called 'full toilet' and 'half-toilet', are they? I would have thought you'd use the term 'loo', in any case.

Anyway, we're getting into semantics here. Bottom line is, like I said, because of the title alone this song would never make it anywhere but here. Like you said, it's a Japanese word, and used by the word a little girl (or boy) and obaachan (or parent) would use. Hence, it seems very childish, regardless of the sentiment it's trying to portray.

One more question, just for the record: was 'toire', the gairaigo, around and in common use when this woman would have been a child and scrubbing the crapper at her grandma's behest? When did 'toire' come into common use as opposed to benjou (the fixture), otearai, or kesshoshitsu?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought the toilet is already the Porcelain Goddess. Goodness knows we are told to worship her after every drinking binge in college!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Or people can ask where the W.C. is, also commonly used in Europe, etc. OTOH, if an adult asks for the Loo he would get some strange looks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Check out the Britsh comedy "La La Land" filmed in Los Angeles - one character asks to go for wee and then a pee, then after a couple of minutes finally gets sent to the restroom.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd need to have lots of money to ask for the ladies. I have seen a sign directing people to the toil. It wasn't pointed toward my office.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lostrune2: "I thought the toilet is already the Porcelain Goddess"

Believe it or not I forgot about that one. Maybe they could change the name to "Porcelain Goddess" instead of "Toilet God". Either way it's not going to conjure up the intended image.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

from 3:37 to 8:07pm (only for the last 15 comments) speaking of to-i-re...smith, nothing else to do ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This thread is really going downhill, so I'd better make another attempt to rescue it. My first attempt, which was quite humorous, was yanked, so here's the second attempt: Kana plays the guitar very well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I might ask a close friend where the loo is, but it's not a word I would use at a restaurant- "toilet" is less vulgar, because as I've said, it's a completely neutral word as far as I'm concerned.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

gosh!!!! the thread is going the wrong direction. anyway i heard the song, and thought it was good..and it didn't sounds like 10min to me.. it wasn't draggy..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The word you choose in the UK has always been an indication of your class background. For those of varying backgrounds it is now in fashion for young people to use the formerly working-class word 'toilet' as an equalizer. The words lavatory and loo will get people pilloried. Washroom is a good medium, but like Bathroom, not a good translation here IMHO.

Anyway, I think the singer deliberately chose a word in the title to shock people. The very juxtapostion of Thomas Crapper's flushing machine and a sprite, a pixy, a fairy, a Goddess of Beauty, has succeeded in catching our attention! Go girl! :clap:

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nandakandamanda; I usually say bog when in Blighty because i am very high class.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Steve, between you & me and the gatepost I use bog too... but it would sound a little erm... "The Goddess of the Bog"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

more lame non-news.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why not the French 'pissoir'?

Erm... cos I don't speak French?

in English 'toilet' refers to the thing you actually defecate and/or urinate into

And the room.

in many Western nations, in a full bathroom (not half 'bathroom') they are not (separated)

The arrangements in Western nations are irrelevant. The girl is singing about the toilet in her Japanese house. Actually in Japan too, many of the smaller, cheaper flats (the kind impoverished students live in) have the loo in with the bath. Not likely that would be the case in a flat/house big enough to accommodate three generations.

was 'toire', the gairaigo, around and in common use when this woman would have been a child

Oh yes. As long as I've been in Japan toire has been the accepted word.

benjou I've always thought of as a man's word.

otearai is rather posh and is also used in places like parks.

kesshoshitsu I would expect to find in department stores, posh hotels, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The God of the Water Closet, Lavatory, Outhouse. Chamber Pot, Commode, Can, Potty, whatever....Sheesh...

Can I suggest "Deity of the Dunny"?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

stevecpfc at 09:36 AM JST - 6th January nandakandamnada; So every woman cleans bogs then? So am i a bird when i >do it then?

Yes in my mind you are undoubtedly the Lord of the Latrine. By the way I have one cousin named Lou and another John.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Right, I need a piss/dump" is completely fine.

Rather than the toilet part, I'm more sick of Japanese songs that are about a mother or grandmother. Especially enka in which every song seems to have a 50 year old manchild talking about how much he loves his mother. Hate enka and will be glad when all the old generation die off and no one listens to it anymore.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

benjou I've always thought of as a man's word.otearai is rather posh and is also used in places like parks.kesshoshitsu I would expect to find in department stores, posh hotels, etc.

When I'm in a restaurant or store and need to ask where the bathroom/restroom is, I use the word otearai. I don't use the word toire to strangers as an adult. However, when my kids ask people where the bathroom is, they say toire wa doko desuka?. When I'm in a friend's house and need to use their bathroom, I'd say toire kashite, or toire wa doko?.

keshoshitsu.. I usually don't use the word in conversations. It sounds like a sign in the shopping center.

So, toire, to me, is more of a casual term while otearai is more of a polite term. And in my whole life, I have never used the word benjo .. I guess when I hear the word Benjo, it sounds like what Toilet sounds like to North Americans... Or/and like Cleo said, Benjo is more like boys/men's term.

In the song, she used the word toire because she referred the exact word her grandma used. Anyone noticed that the lyric is Kansai-ben (Kansai dialect) as that's the dialect her and her grandma used to communicate.

In an interview, she herself said that this was just about her childhood memory and didn't think she could sell this song... but one of the producers who saw the lyric loved it so much and he strongly recommended her to attach a song to the lyric.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@MrDog

I'm more sick of Japanese songs that are about a mother or grandmother. Especially enka in which every song seems to have a 50 year old manchild talking about how much he loves his mother. Hate enka and will be glad when all the old generation die off and no one listens to it anymore

Yeah, the sooner the better. Then we can all listen to Ayumi Hamasaki and Kumi Koda all day and night instead. And those old generation people, like your mom, who needs'em, right? So passe. They don't deserve people singing songs for them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Then we can all listen to Ayumi Hamasaki and Kumi Koda all day and night instead. And those old generation people, like your mom, who needs'em, right? So passe. They don't deserve people singing songs for them.

Yeah! Glad you're with me on this one.

I don't listen to Japanese music though, but you can listen to Koda and Hamasaki if it floats your boat.

Old people listen to enka because it was popular when they were young, so yeah, I guess people will listen to music that is popualr now when they are old.

Not this song though, because it will be forgotten in a few months.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mrdog, I think you missed lesgrande's point (lol)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Especially enka in which every song seems to have a 50 year old manchild talking about how much he loves his mother.

Can't say I'm a fan of enka, but there's nowt wrong wi'a man loving his Mum.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unless he's Oedipus, I suppose.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mrdog, I think you missed lesgrande's point (lol)

No, he took the words right out of my mouth.

Enka has 1 music track and they just change the words a bit for each song. Like how B'z do, only worse, if that's possible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh, I went to the Kohaku Uta Gassen with a benjo on my knee!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

unagidon: "Can I suggest "Deity of the Dunny"?"

I forgot all about 'dunny'. Thanks for the laugh. Maybe Uemura can sing about the 'dunny pigeons' and how they make her think of granny.

cleo: "And the room."

In British English, yes. In NA English, which is where 'toire' is most likely taken from (many stores, etc. still do have the WC to contrast), it means only the unit you sit on or stand in front of (or squat, if it's 和式). I'm not at all suggesting that one country's English is above another's, my point is that either way, it's still not a very good image for a song that tries to send such a sentimental English.

"The arrangements in Western nations are irrelevant. The girl is singing about the toilet in her Japanese house."

The arrangements themselves may be irrelevant to the song, but they are not irrelevant to the English language, and the title of this thread is "'Toilet God' song makes a star of songstress". I used the Western arrangement examples to point out how use of the word 'toilet' as a room can be problematic.

"Actually in Japan too, many of the smaller, cheaper flats (the kind impoverished students live in) have the loo in with the bath. Not likely that would be the case in a flat/house big enough to accommodate three generations."

Agreed. So then what you do you call the fixture within the toilet? Did Grandma as the girl, "When you clean the toilet, be sure to clean the toilet, too!"?

fishy: "I guess when I hear the word Benjo, it sounds like what Toilet sounds like to North Americans..."

Exactly! Which is why I mentioned it as an example of how it can be deemed a bit 'dirty'. Regardless, let's say it refers to the room, it's still a stupid title, and a bad song with lousy lyrics -- something I'd expect from Morning Musume, or AKB48, so long as they were wearing lingerie while all 48 of them cleaned the caked urine from the toilet bowl and didn't talk about how it reminded them of Grandma. ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

>not a very good image for a song。。。the title of this thread is "'Toilet God' song

Since the title of the song is Toire no Kamisama, your gripe must be with the title of the thread, then. Because in Japanese the word toire does not have any of the negative connotations that seem to adhere to the word toilet in American English (and which I must admit, have surprised me a bit). She's singing in Japanese, to a Japanese audience in a Japanese context. Whatever image North Americans choose to conjure up from a rather lame translation of the title doesn't make it a stupid title in Japanese.

a song that tries to send such a sentimental English.

That's a typo, yes?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of my students pointed out how weird it is in Japanese that they say "toire" for "toilet" and "toiret paper" for "toilet paper." I never thought of it that way, but I'd have to agree.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

in Japanese the word toire does not have any of the negative connotations that seem to adhere to the word toilet in American English

It does have some of the negative connotations, hence te-arai. Maybe not as negative as the US English connotations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It does have some of the negative connotations, hence te-arai. Maybe not as negative as the US English connotations.

True. I believe even Uemura stated that based on the wiki page but it appears there is a quite a disparity in the degree of negativity. Other than that, Cleo basically nailed it for the singer and the Japanese population don't give a damn what NA think for it's not even intended for them anyways. As evidenced by smith's assertion that the song has "lousy lyrics" when the fact of the matter is, the song became popular because of the heart felt lyrics, there is no point in arguing with NAs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, now that we have worked that out of the system together with the excesses of the vacation, we are all much wiser I am sure.

Time for a visit to the thunderbox.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lol at the dunny posts!

I actually wish many people who commented here would stop thinking that the English they use is the ONLY correct one!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

GW at 11:00 AM JST - 6th January Sorry Ossan yr going to have to go home & correct yr misses. Nothing >vulgar about "toilet" but I suppose context always plays a roll LOL, now >crapper, kaibo, bog or go farther & you can get vulger LOL, wud carry on >but I have to go use the you now what, now I am scared to say the word!!

From the numerouis posts it appears that the degree of vulgarity in the use of the term "Toilet" depends on what country you are in. Here in the United States, no one at a formal party or dinner is going to ask to be excused because "I have to go to the toilet". Why? Because it's considered a vulgar term not fit for proper places and occasions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo at 05:51 PM JST - 7th January She's singing in Japanese, to a Japanese audience in a Japanese context. >Whatever image North Americans choose to conjure up from a rather lame >translation of the title doesn't make it a stupid title in Japanese.

I applaud cleo for the most intelligent comment on this thread.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

there is a classic aussie song about toilets too...

'redback on the dunny seat'

seriously!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

or was it actually toilet seat and we changed the words?!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's a hit because the economy is going down the toilet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let’s make “toilet” the new “water cooler”.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OssanAmerica at 01:24 AM JST - 8th January I applaud cleo for the most intelligent comment on this thread.

Correction, the ONLY intelligent comment on this thread.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The token Japanese says:

Yawn! Next! Hate the song. Yawn! Next!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites