February 27, 2009

Lucky Racoon Poop used by Japanese Students

Graduating students are leaving my little Japanese language school soon, so we had a bit of a party in the classroom after class. The Chinese/Taiwanese girls are leaving us, so they took lots of pictures. Always on the day my hair is not styled does this sort of thing happen. Oh well. I will miss these girls who thought I was both alluring and scary for my rare skin color.
I'm still sticking around until at least July. The family keeps wondering when I am going back to America, but I keep finding excuses to stay here, like mastering Japanese, or merely passing a test. If only I knew that poop was the answer to my problems, I could have passed the JLPT!

Sapporo--They are taking the poop of a couple lesser pandas at the local zoo and mixing it into the materials to make paper charms. But this isn't crappy protection in their opinion; it will help you pass your tests!
So, a few words may be good to get why they do this. First off, うんち means poop, and it sounds like 運, which means luck. It's also useful to know ふん (animal droppings), and 漉く (make pulp) in フンを漉き込む*, or to mix poop into paper to give it that special scattering--I mean smattering... splattering?--of patterning. Finally, the reason why lesser pandas are so lucky: They have tenacious claws so they don't drop (落ちる) from trees. Use a paper charm, and your grades may not drop as well, they say.

Do you think is a load of BS?
[Nihongo news source and bigger pic]
*As a combo, 漉き込む specifically refers to entering non-standard materials into pulp for patterning.