Superstition sparks toilet cleaning craze

TOKYO Thu Mar 1, 2007 2:33pm EST

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Cleanliness has long been next to godliness for the hygiene-conscious Japanese, but fortune-tellers are now advising those who want to succeed in life to start by scrubbing the smallest room.

"Cleaning the toilet to attract luck" published this month is the latest in a series of books advising readers on how to attract good fortune using a brush and an array of cleaning fluids.

"Don't just wipe the floor, polish it," the book instructs. "It's important to maintain a positive mood while cleaning."

The books are inspired by Buddhist teachings and feng shui, a traditional Chinese belief that people's fortunes are determined by their surroundings.

The idea that Lady Luck may be hiding in the lavatory has been taken up by magazines and television programs.

"I won the lottery! I married my ideal person! I got pregnant!" read some of the claims on the cover of another book on the topic, published last year.

The idea that a clean toilet can bring good fortune, or even make you more beautiful, has existed in Japan for many years, according to Yuka Soma of Makino Publishing in Tokyo, editor of one of the toilet books.

But she is still waiting for a big stroke of luck.

"I've always cleaned my toilet every day, so it never really gets dirty," she said. "At least it's easy that way and it probably helps keep my family healthy," she said.

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