Mariko Aoki Phenomenon – Strange but true?


Mariko Aoki phenomenon


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”).[1] 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”.[2] The naming of the phenomenon has brought about repercussions in Japan.[3][4]

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).[3]


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.[5]

This is so odd. Internet, you surprise me again!

Perhaps this is why those Uncle John Bathroom reader series has been so successful!