There’s a Japanese social group founded on Facebook whose members gather once a week to clean public restrooms with their bare hands as a spiritual cleansing ritual. Good morning!
As the AP reported this week, the group is called Benjyo Soujer, which loosely translates to “Bathroom Soldier” in English. A team of 35 men, women, and children, the group meets every Sunday morning at 6 a.m., gears up with cleaning supplies, and spends around an hour and a half scrubbing some nasty Tokyo toilets.
Their ultimate goal is to “[scrub] clean Tokyo’s thousands of public toilets one by one,” not just to benefit the city, but also to partake in a “spirit cleansing ritual,” not different from “one of the trainings Buddhist monks endure to find peace of heart,” according to the AP. The group’s motto? “Clean thyself by cleaning cubicles.”
But simply spending their Sunday mornings inhaling other people’s pee fumes isn’t enough; Benjyo Soujer’s members are also encouraged to clean with their bare hands. Group leader Masayuki Magome said, “Basically, excrement is something that comes out of our body, so we adults don’t really think of it as dirty. So without really thinking, we clean them with our bare hands, and because the children see us doing that, they don’t really think of toilets as dirty either. That is one of our philosophies.”
Though it sounds mad disgusting, the members reportedly feel really good about the work they’re doing, and they’re bonding with each other at the same time. Frankly I prefer shit-free bonding experiences, but to each his own.