Monday, October 14, 2013

青木万利子 or Mariko Aoki Phenomenon so strange

青木万利子 or Mariko Aoki Phenomenon so strange

The term receives its name from Mariko Aoki, an otherwise little-known Japanese woman who contributed an essay in 1985 to the magazineHon no Zasshi (ja) (which means “Book Magazine”). In that essay, she related how she came to the realization that for some years, walking around a bookstore inevitably made her want to go to the restroom. The editors of the magazine received reports of other readers who had similar experiences, and named it the “Mariko Aoki phenomenon”. The naming of the phenomenon has brought about repercussions in Japan.

There is little evidence of this phenomenon per se being known outside Japan, though whether or not the effect exists elsewhere has not been explored. (e.g. L. Ulin 2010).

Some people believe certain chemicals in paper or ink have a laxative effect. Others suppose the posture of browsing makes bowel movement easier. For both explanations the evidence remains weak.

I’ve never relented, however. I knew I wasn’t the only one to have this feeling, this urge. How could I be? There is no way that I am the only person in our known universe to have to pinch some hot loafs while perusing paperbacks. I knew this had to be a common occurrence. And yesterday I was made aware of this. My Japanese savior, Mariko Aoki.

In 1985 Mariko Aoki contributed an essay to the publication Han no Zasshi (or as Americans would say: Book Magazine). In her essay, she made the observation that browsing through bookstores made her need to read the restroom. I can just imagine a Japanese woman, sitting down to her electric typewriter, ready to type up a short piece about dropping bombs in her local bookery.

Who would have thought!? A Japanese woman in the eighties making a public proclamation about shitting up bookstores. I guess it’s no surprise though. Those Japanese are into some weird stuff.

Some seem to think there could be a laxative effect caused by the chemicals in the ink on the paper. Others seem to think that the posture of browsing may cause the flow to get going. Likely it is myriad factors, depending on the person. However, the evidence for this phenomenon remains weak.

We here at TheBrabble take pooping and other butt-related matters very seriously. I pledge our commitment to determine the authenticity of the Mariko Aoki Phenomenon in the future. We believe the day will come when public policy will catch up with this physical and mental wonder and demand clean public restroom reform for all and give this Japanese woman the eternal and international praise she deserves: her name relating to a very specific kind of dump.

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