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Tokyo Man Nicknamed ‘Poop Soil Master’ Has Been Pooping Outdoors For Half A Century

by : Cameron Frew on : 23 Feb 2020 13:35
Masana Izawa 'Poop Soil Master'Masana Izawa 'Poop Soil Master'Masana Izawa

Does a bear sh*t in the woods? Yes, and so does this professional ‘poop soil master’, who’s been unloading his jobbies outdoors for nearly 50 years. 

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Taking a leak outside is one thing, going for a dump is another. The latter is, generally, considered a much more intimate activity – there’s a reason you’ll see plenty of drunken people pissing on a wall compared to those curling out a turd.

However, for Masana Izawa, his outdoor pooping serves a larger purpose, encouraging people to think about conservation. ‘To poop outdoors is a way of giving back life,’ he said.

Masana Izawa 'Poop Soil Master' 2Masana Izawa 'Poop Soil Master' 2Masana Izawa

The 69-year-old self-titled ‘poop soil master’ has been defecating in obscure locations in the Greater Tokyo Area for 45 years. Finding private spots can be tricky, but Izawa has become pretty adept at sniffing out the best places. Since 2000, he’s had a number two outside around 15,000 times, but only ‘toilet-pooped’ 14 times this century.

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Explaining his ‘Fundoshi’ profession, which even goes on his tax forms, Izawa told The Japan Times

‘Fundoshi’ usually means ‘loincloth’ but I use different kanji in a wordplay for it to mean ‘poop soil master’. I’m an activist trying to change people’s way of thinking, using the symbolism of poop.

I call it fundoshisō (a combination of ‘fundo’ and ‘shisō’ meaning thought). Outdoor-defecating is a symbolic introduction to bigger issues. Humans are so egocentric, they can’t see that ‘worthless and dirty’ poop is a treat for other living creatures.

Izawa has been a conservationist since the 1970s – however, it was in 1973 that his efforts stepped up a notch, after seeing a citizens’ group protesting the construction of a night soil disposal plant in its neighbourhood.

Masana Izawa 'Poop Soil Master' 3Masana Izawa 'Poop Soil Master' 3Masana Izawa

‘It got me thinking: why aren’t people taking responsibility for their own waste? Do people even know or care about how their waste gets processed after they flush it down the toilet? And is our feces really waste? After some thought, I decided to start defecating outdoors to be a part of nature’s cycle – I dig a hole in the ground and cover it up afterward,’ he explained.

Explaining his philosophy further, Izawa added: 

It’s a fundamental idea: ‘To eat is to take life, but it’s also our right. To poop is a responsibility we need to be aware of. To poop outdoors is a way of giving back life.’ The world could be a better place if humans did away with their arrogance. I want people to think outside the box and question their stereotypes.

While he previously used toilet paper in his poop-tacular adventures, he switched to leaves ‘after discovering that some paper I’d buried months before hadn’t decomposed in the soil’.

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Izawa even wrote a book about the subject in 2017, titled Let’s Start Outdoor-Defecating With Leaves. He isn’t fettered by criticism – in fact, he says ‘criticism helps develop my argument further’.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Health, conservation, Environment, Japan, pooping, toilet

Credits

The Japan Times
  1. The Japan Times

    Masana Izawa: The 'poop soil master' is dumping it outdoors