Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Only in Japan: Poop Card and Other Government Paperwork

Anyone who has lived or worked in Japan will tell you that this is a country that loves their paperwork. It's the downside of their famed efficiency and attention to detail. In order to get anything done, there are myriad forms that first must be filled out, approved, and filed with the appropriate office. If it weren't for our A2 office staff, supervisor, church friends, Japanese teacher...... we'd be lost. It's is easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed.

Now that Jillian is in our lives, it seems that amount of paperwork has increased exponentially. But, in the jumble of paperwork I've submitted since Jilli's birth, the most bizarre has to be the poop card.

What is "the poop card?!" you must surely be asking yourself.

THIS is a poop card

Months and months ago, when I registered my pregnancy to get my pregnancy mark, I received a stack of paperwork to be submitted after birth. It was all pretty standard: birth announcement, application for birth certificate, stuff like that. There was was one form though that was to be submitted for her 1 month check-up. It had a list of different kinds/colors of baby poop with corresponding numbers. I was instructed to categorize my daughter's doo-doo and share the information with the government health center.

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. This is the country that brought us the literary classic Everyone Poops (Minna Unchi by Taro Gomi), and candy like the baby gave Stephen for Valentine's Day.
Everyone Poops.jpg
The (unintentionally) funniest book I've ever read of poop.
Photo credit Wikipedia

I assume the government wanted me to submit the poop card for Jilli's health check-up. Either that, or they were trying to give a little comic relief to my bureaucracy woes.

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