The perfect candy for a jar mouth.
Our Tokai-based Japanese-speaking journalist Haruka Takagi had been feeling depressed lately, so she decided to cheer herself up by taking a trip to Aichi Prefecture, which is not far from her home.
While there, she came across an unusual traditional Japanese candy that gave her spring in her step and a smile on her dial. In fact, it made her laugh so much that she decided to share her secret discovery with all of us, and now we’re smiling too because it’s a real treat with a serious sense of humor.
Say hello to Monaka toilet.
As for traditional Japanese sweets, monaka are waiting for you. trendy and chic end of the spectrum, made with adzuki red bean paste sandwiched between two crisp and light wafers made from mochi rice. They’re usually square or triangular, or shaped like beautiful flowers, but the one Haruka found is …toilet shaped.
That doesn’t mean the quality of the treat was dumped down the drain, however, as the monaka and red bean paste are separately packaged and designed to be combined by the customer before eating. This separate packaging is always the mark of a good quality monaka because it ensures that the wafer stays crisp, delivering elegant and fresh flavors, despite toilet humor.
The candy comes with instructions on how to put it together correctly, so Haruka took note of the advice provided in order to create a realistic-looking visual.
However, when she tried to create a nice coil of turd in the toilet bowl, it turned out to be more difficult than expected.
Yet, once she was done, the end result was spectacular, both with the toilet lid. and down.
The fun continued when it came to eating the candy, as she had formed such an intimate bond with her creation while putting it together that the thought if it was a real toilet was foreground in her mind.
She couldn’t hold back her smile when she bit it, and she was pleasantly surprised to find it incredibly delicious! It was fresh and classy, a bit like a high-end toilet model.
Who would have thought that a toilet could taste so good?
Looking at the packaging, Haruka could see why her toilet tasted so delicious – it had been created by Ohkuramochi, a long-standing and popular Japanese confectionery in Aichi Prefecture.
The company that requested the manufacture of the candy was LIXIL, formerly INAX, which is a Japanese manufacturer of construction materials and equipment for housing, including bathrooms and yes, bathroom.
▼ Haruka had bought the candy from LIXIL INAX Live Museum in Tokoname town of Aichi.
The museum shop only started selling Monaka toilets this month, and it’s already created a huge buzz online. We spoke to a spokesperson for the museum to find out more about how they were able to make the soft look so realistic and impactful, and the first thing they said was:
“I think it was precisely because we are a toilet manufacturer that we were able to achieve this.
They then commented on the company’s surprise at the public’s response to the candy, saying:
“Since the appearance of the candy is so realistic, we expected to get some sort of response (from the audience), but we didn’t expect it to be that great. ”
Haruka also discovered that the reason why the shape of the Monaka toilet looks so real is that the design was gleaned from the CAD (computer aided design) used by the technical team who usually designs the toilets.
▼ There’s a lot of serious planning behind this fun candy, which sells for 324 yen (US $ 2.96).
La Toilette Monaka plays on the double reading of “最 中”, which can be read both as “monaka” and “saichu” (which means “the height of”, or “in the middle of”), which means the “Monaka toilet” can also be read as “half-toilet”.
Originally designed as a special souvenir for visitors to the LIXIL Enokido factory in Tokoname, which manufactures toilets, and where general visits are not possible, LIXIL decided to sell the candy to the general public saying:
“We wanted people to know more about Tokoname, the pottery city, so we started selling it. We hope people will come to Tokoname and take an interest in pottery through this product.
Now that our reporter was here in this famous pottery district, she decided to take a closer look at the INAX Live Museum, which is like a pottery theme park with its many exhibitions on pottery. There are also sophisticated buildings and well-kept gardens to explore, so if you’re planning a visit Haruka says you should head to this main building first, where you can pay the 700 yen admission fee ( US $ 6.38) to explore all areas inside.
According to Haruka, the entrance fee is almost too low for the huge amount of exhibits included in the price. Inside the main building, for example, is a real oven which was once used to make clay pipes, which was a major industry in Tokoname in the past.
The shine of clay pipes made at this time was not due to the glaze, but chemical reaction of components found in salt and clay. For this reason, the interior wall of the furnace is also as shiny as the surface of a clay pipe.
Another highlight of the museum that you won’t want to miss is the chance to see a 4,700-year-old Egyptian tile, we say the oldest tile in the world, located in the tile museum.
There is also the rare chance to see the reverse side of old tiles, and you will find a wide range of tiles everywhere, including inside public restrooms.
This is a replica of an earthenware fireplace used in 18th-century Europe, believed to have been influenced by Chinese ceramics.
If you are hungry during your visit to the museum, you can stop at the restaurant to taste an oven-baked pizza …
▼… And you can enter a real oven, which is 80 meters (262.5 feet) long.
Terracotta Park is a lovely place to take a walk after lunch, where you can see how pottery was used to decorate the exterior walls of buildings.
This wall was taken from the Ministry of the Interior when it was demolished in 2001 and it is now kept here to showcase its beauty and craftsmanship.
These stone demons were removed from the Osaka building in 1986.
Another highlight not to be missed is this one old collection of toilet bowls, which shows how toilets were once decorated for elite members of society.
The toilet below is a rare squat style design with both a large and a small cavity. However, it didn’t end up becoming popular, as it was said to be difficult to use.
Depending on when you visit, you may be able to attend a limited-time exhibit at the museum, such as this one titled “Disconnect / Connect [Asao Tokolo x NOIZ] Rhythm of geometric patterns, tiling universe“, which lasts until October 12.
▼ Asao Tokolo recently designed the logo for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
▼ Before leaving the museum, don’t forget to pose for a commemorative photo with a giant mud ball!
And of course, you’ll want to grab some of these Toilet Monaka candies for yourself and your friends back home. The museum shop selling them can be seen on the left side of the photo below, while the World Tile Museum is in the middle and the restaurant is on the right side of the image.
▼ There are many other toilet related items and keepsakes to tempt you in the museum shop, including porcelain mini thrones.
It was just a quick glimpse of what the museum has to offer, and Haruka was surprised to appreciate it as much as she did. Not only did she learn a lot about toilets, but she also deepened her knowledge of tiles and ceramics, and even got to see the works of an Olympic logo designer up close!
It was a beautiful day, and Haruka is now in a much better mood after her trip to the land of tiles and toilets. If you’re ever looking to put yourself in a good mood, she highly recommends using the bathroom, and if you can’t make it to Aichi Prefecture, you can always try sipping sugary eau de toilette or to bite into Toto’s chocolate toilet. .
INAX Live Museum / INAX ラ イ ブ ミ ュ ー ジ ア ム
Address: Aichi-ken, Tokoname-shi, Okueicho 1-130
Open: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last admission 4.30 p.m.)