Books

A handbook for staying healthy and regular

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Do you want a "Natural Unco Life"?

Health books are big sellers in China these days, and a newly-translated Japanese health book might appeal outside the wellness marketplace with its cutesy illustrations.

Uncocoro: for Natural Unco Life (大便书) is a book about intestinal health. It's written by Fujita Koichiro (藤田纮一郎), a Manchukou-born health writer known as "Dr. Parasite" for his unorthodox theory that many health problems of the modern age could be solved if people would host parasitic worms in their bodies. This new book focuses on educating readers about what comes out of their bodies: the production, color, consistency, frequency, and uses of their stools.

The illustrations are by Yorifuji Bunpei (寄藤文平), a well-known graphic designer.

Uncocoro first came out in Chinese translation on Taiwan, like so many cool books (Snow Crash is the most recent example). The new mainland edition is being promoted with endorsements from the heads of various Taiwan health organizations.

Wu Jun-ming, head of Taiwan's Bureau of Health Promotion when the Taiwan edition was published in 2005, describes the dismal state of affairs that this book seeks to remedy:

For a long time, poo has been seen as a filthy yet unavoidable part of everyday life. When we are young, we're indoctrinated that poo is brimming with germs: we must wash our hands after using the toilet, or else we'll get those germs in our mouth, and other such ideas. So humanity invented the flush toilet and sanitation workers to carry out the important mission of "poo extermination," and poo gradually vanished from our everyday lives. "Clean" Japan in particular has become a fresh, tidy, advanced, 21st Century country where poo is hardly to be found. Certain parts of the views outlined above are desireable or even necessary, but in addition to enjoying the plentiful fruits of science and a clean living environment, perhaps humanity ought to thing about whether there may be something wrong with all of this progress. Uncocoro: for Natural Unco Life will cause you to stop your blind drive to exterminate poo and carefully consider this question.

The Chinese title of the book is straightforward: 大便书, "the book of feces." As for what "uncocoro" means, Tsai Ying-jie, head of the Taiwan Association for Lactic Acid Bacteria, offers two interpretations spanning three languages:

This especially peculiar book is most close to my own mind. I hope that all children and parents, everyone who cares about nature and health, will give it a careful read and fully understand the mind of the author.

The English title of this book is Uncocoro: for Natural Unco Life. "Unco" means poo. The subtitle is clear: for a natural poo life. But the title, "Uncocoro," requires an explanation.

"Unco" is poo, "coro" is , which means "time," so together it means "poo time," still not really clear. If it meant "coro-coro," meaning "roll," or "poo that rolls," that would be essentially unhealthy.

So I like to explain uncocoro as "poo heart" (便便心): "unco" is poo, "cocoro" is heart (). Together they'd be "unco-cocoro," but if you remove one "co," you get "uncocoro," an innovative new word.

Increasingly, medical evidence tells us that "aging begins in the gut," "serious adult diseases like colon cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, high blood preasure, and senility are closely connected to the intestines," but people today tend to ignore intestinal health and turn up their noses at their poo.

Here's one of the images from the book, illustrating the various uses of poo: coffee, medicine, power generation, soap, and money, among other things.

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USAGE of UNCO (page 56 of Uncocoro, image via Sohu)

Here's the book's answer to the age-old question of why bookstores have a laxative effect:

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UNCO PAVLOV (page 146 of Uncocoro, image via Sohu)

More pictures are available on Sohu's feature about the book launch.

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There are currently 5 Comments for A handbook for staying healthy and regular.

Comments on A handbook for staying healthy and regular

Junk science.

Sounds like the popular American book "Everyone Poops" but with Japanese illustrations and an strange scientific bend.

For reference: Everyone Poops on Amazon

Everything Poops is apparently a Japanese import.

a delayed companion-piece to this?

in my head i read the cover as (shit book?). But "the book of feces" is a much funnier translation.

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