All 17 THE TOKYO TOILET Project Toilets CompletedThe Nippon Foundation hands over management to Shibuya City, to continue from fiscal 2024
A ceremony was held on June 23 at the Shibuya City Hall to hand over the public toilets renovated by The Nippon Foundation’s THE TOKYO TOILET project to the Shibuya City government. With the aim of realizing a society that embraces diversity, the project renovated public toilets at 17 locations in Shibuya, so that they can be used by anyone regardless of gender, age, or disability. The project was carried out with the participation of 16 creators who endorsed this goal and used the power of design and creativity to offer proposals for a new society. The project was launched in 2018 and will conclude at the end of fiscal 2023, with Shibuya City taking over the toilets’ maintenance and upkeep.
At the ceremony, The Nippon Foundation Executive Director Jumpei Sasakawa, Shibuya Mayor Ken Hasebe, and Koji Yanai, Director of retailer Fast Retailing, which provided funding for the project, spoke about the project’s objectives and issues related to the maintenance and upkeep of public toilets.
To ensure a smooth handover of operations, The Nippon Foundation will continue to participate in the project’s management committee and provide funding support until the end of fiscal 2023 (ending March 31, 2024). The Foundation will also summarize and make use of the survey data and expertise gained through the project as reference for other local governments.
Jumpei Sasakawa, Executive Director, The Nippon Foundation
This project used the design and creative talents of 16 leading creators to erase the conventional negative image of public toilets, referred to in Japanese as the “4 Ks” (kusai (smelly), kurai (dark), kowai (scary), and kitanai (dirty)) and demonstrate what a society that truly embraces diversity can be. The Nippon Foundation is working to have a donation society take root in Japan, and this project is part of that effort. This project has received a great deal of media attention in Japan and around the world, and highlighted issues involving public toilets. I hope that these 17 toilets will be maintained going forward as a tourism resource for Shibuya, and that this will become a model for achieving an inclusive society overseas as well as in Japan.
Ken Hasebe, Mayor, Shibuya City
I would like to express my sincere thanks to the globally renowned architects and creators for their work in creating these toilets for Shibuya. We will maintain these toilets so that they remain clean and appealing, and work to raise awareness of the importance of public toilets for everyone.
THE TOKYO TOILET
Japan is known as one of the cleanest countries in the world, and even public toilets have a higher standard of hygiene than in much of the rest of the world. However, the use of public toilets in Japan is limited because of stereotypes that they are dark, dirty, smelly, and scary. THE TOKYO TOILET project has renovated 17 public toilets in Shibuya to make them accessible for everyone regardless of gender, age, or disability. With the participation of creators including architects Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma and Toyo Ito, and creative director Kashiwa Sato, the project uses the power of superior design and creativity to demonstrate what an inclusive society can be. The project is also emphasizing cleaning and other maintenance to ensure that anyone can use the toilets in comfort and with peace of mind, and to foster a spirit of hospitality for the next person.