Gakko-no Toire Soji 

(Cleaning Restrooms at Japanese Schools)


(Student Committee Members Cleaning Urinals)

 If you know a little about Japanese culture, you know Japanese students clean their classrooms, pools, pet cages, and restrooms after school every day, don’t you? Didn’t know that? And you are about to go study in Japan as an exchange student? You’ve got a problem! This way the Japanese kids are disciplined. It is not until you become a college student that you are released from this obligation.  


(groups in a class take turns) 

th (1)

(teachers show good examples to their students)

th (3)

(even elementary school students follow the rules)

 Thus, there is no such a job as janitors in Japan. On the other hand, there is a job called “Yomuin (=the person in charge of chores)” at school. They do all the fixtures inside and outside the school buildings and supervise students’ cleaning. They are more like handymen. “Yomuin” does not mean janitors at all. Traditionally, however, they are not respected or even discriminated because educational background is not a requirement for one to apply for the job.

th (5)

(nobody is relieved from the chore at Japanese school)

 Why do the Japanese take cleaning this seriously in the first place? Because they strongly believe everything has its own spirit (god). In other words, a god stays in everything around us. So, the Japanese treat everything nicely. They clean everything nicely to make the god happy. In addition, the filthier the place (you clean), such as toilets, is, the more spiritual growth you will experience. The lesson is that you should clean toilets if you want to grow spiritually. Japanese people “know” a god resides in toilets. Cleaning toilets means that you are cleaning your spirit.


(tricky Japanese-style toilet)