2. November 2023
Wim Wenders’ new film, “Perfect Days”, tells the story of toilet cleaner Hirayama in quiet, stark images. He lives a simple life in Tokyo, with every day following the same basic structure. Played by Kōji Yakusho, Hirayama is responsible for cleaning not just any public toilets, but the unique ones created for THE TOKYO TOILET Project by the Nippon Foundation. These were designed by famed architects like Toyo Ito, Kengo Kuma, Tadao Ando and Shigeru Ban.
These innovative toilet facilities are equipped with TOTO products. “Perfect Days” premiered at Cannes International Film Festival this May. Main actor Yakusho was honoured with the Best Actor award at the festival for his performance. The film will be shown in German cinemas in December.
In the film, Hirayama travels to the different public toilets in Tokyo’s Shibuya district and cleans them. He is fully committed to his job and does it thoroughly. When someone comes to use the toilet, he makes himself virtually invisible to avoid disturbing them. Content and calm, Hirayama experiences the perfect day every day at work, but also with the simple little things in life. Every morning, he has a can of coffee, listens to cassettes with rock songs from the 60s and 70s on his way to work, enjoys reading and analogue photography, which he uses to capture moods. These are the things that he loves and that enrich his daily life. A series of unexpected encounters gradually reveal stories from his past. “The new Wim Wenders film celebrates the simple things, the poetry in our everyday rituals and impassioned dedication,” writes online magazine kino-zeit.de in its review of “Perfect Days”.
The Nippon Foundation devoted the same dedication and commitment to developing the 17 public toilets that Hirayama cleans that are part of THE TOKYO TOILET Project. People in Japan are also often reluctant to use public restrooms, even though the standards are much higher, and these facilities are much cleaner than in Germany. The 17 toilet pavilions are definitely worth seeing – featuring inviting, modern architecture and hygienic, fully accessible facilities. The toilets are designed to be safe and clean at any time of day or night and easy for everyone to use, whatever their gender, age or physical ability. As Japan’s leading manufacturer of sanitary ceramics, TOTO played a key advisory role in the project and designed the interiors of these spaces.