Clean Heart & Toilet

Does this mean what I think it does? If so it means let’s keep our hearts and toilets clean.


  1. Interesting site.
    If I may, though, I’d just like to add something to your post. I myself learned ‘kokoro’ as ‘heart’, but in fact, the primary meaning of ‘kokoro’ is not ‘heart’ in the physical sense, but in fact something closer to ‘mind’, or ‘spirit’, and, by extension, even something close to ‘thoughts’. This short phrase is one of those bits of Japanese that doesn’t translate easily into English, but I’d say that it means something along the lines of ‘be considerate of others (the ‘clean thoughts’), and keep the toilet clean’.

  2. Nathan, thanks a lot for your comment. You are the first to comment on my relatively new Japanese language related blog so I’m very grateful.
    To be honest I wasn’t sure exactly what the meaning was and was obviously only going on my limited knowledge and a direct translation approach. Being in a real Japanese toilet it obviously was ‘normal Japanese’.

  3. My pleasure. I’ve been dropping in on Notes to Myself for a while now- it’s linked to from my blog- and it’s good to see your Japanese-related blog too.
    You’re right in saying that the Japanese on the sign was ‘normal’, but at the same time it’s fair to say that it’s also pretty idiomatic. In fact, it’s quite close to what in English would be called a pun.

  4. You’ve been reading Notes To Myself too? One of those silent reader types 😉 In any case, thanks for visiting.
    One last thing I should mention – this picture was taken at elementary school which could mean the language isn’t quite normal ‘adult language’, but again that’s just another maybe.