Haewoojae Museum (Mr. Toilet House) (해우재)



   Suwon, (Hangul: 수원, Hanja: 水原, Korean pronunciation: [su.wʌn]) is the capital and largest metropolis of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea's most populous province which surrounds Seoul, the national capital. Suwon lies about 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of Seoul. It is traditionally known as "The City of Filial Piety".  

   Suwon has existed in various forms throughout Korea's history, growing from a small settlement to become a major industrial and cultural center. It is the only remaining completely walled city in South Korea. The city walls are one of the more popular tourist destinations in Gyeonggi Province. Samsung Electronics R&D center and headquarters are in Suwon. The city is served by two motorways, the national railway network, and the Seoul Metropolitan Subway. Suwon is a major educational center, home to 11 universities. Suwon is home to football club Suwon Samsung Bluewings, which have won the K League on four occasions and AFC Champions League twice. The KT Wiz of the Korea Baseball Organization also plays in Suwon.

   Indeed! Baseball! I have passed by the stadium many times already. Maybe I should attend a game? Jim? Kate? Sue? 

   In addition to frequenting the police station to try to contact my muse I have taken to exploring Suwon. I came across an unusual listing. It seemed silly but I'm really glad I followed up on this one. 

Haewoojae Museum (Mr. Toilet House) (해우재)
(Pronounced Hae-woo-jae)

    "WHAT????" I laughed heartily. A toilet museum? What could that be all about? The building itself is even shaped like a toilet.

There are statues of poop and someone actually squatting as if ...

You don't believe me? Look for yourself! 

   In fact, the toilet in the Airbnb I am staying in completely baffles me. I realize maybe I'm old -fashioned but I've yet to figure this one out. Believe it or not this same kind of toilet exists even in some of the subway station restrooms! 

Most places have special toilet stalls for kids in addition to the standard handicapped room.

   I hope you're not offended by this post. This museum is actually extremely educational. It carries a very important message about cleanliness and sanitation. Below is a bit from a review of the site:

   The museum is in the shape of a toilet and the owner worked all his life for the sanitation department in Suwon and spent his later life making the house into a toilet park.

   As you walk through this museum you learn about the history of how people have relieved themselves throughout history and around the world. You learn about the invention of the flushing toilet still in use today. There are fun activities for children who frequent this museum with their parents. I wonder if schools take students on field trips too?

   It takes about 30-minutes to walk through the entire museum. So rather then just walk through and leave I sat down and enjoyed watching the kids engage in the activities scattered around as part of the exhibition. 

   It never occured to me to view the toilet as a place to relieve yourself of stress or as a place for relaxation and contemplation. Mr. Toilet raised awareness about this. In fact don't we often find ourselves coming up with new and bright ideas after spending time on the pot? I certainly do! 

  Have a  look at the photos below. Maybe next time you're in Suwon you, too, can enjoy this unique museum and benefit from a personal glimpse into the beauty of toilets!


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