On the latest edition of Japan's most popular music show, a young woman got up with her guitar in front of a nationwide audience and sang a song about toilets. It lasted for eight minutes.
Far from being aghast, the audience was moved. Kana Uemura's rendition of her hit "Toire no Kamisama" ("The Goddess in the Toilet") was a highlight of NHK TV's "Kohaku Uta Gassen," a New Year's Eve music special that has been on the air for 60 years.
The song, originally nearly 10 minutes long, is about Uemura's love for her late grandmother, who would encourage her while she was a child to clean the toilet by telling her that if she did, the Toilet Goddess would be pleased and turn her into a beautiful woman.
Released last year, it proved a runaway success, picking up two Japan Record Awards and inspiring two books and a TV drama based on Uemura's story. It's no wonder that Uemura's concerts are now sponsored by Inax, a major Japanese toilet manufacturer. … Read more