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Car crashes into Japan's oldest existing toilet

The broken entrance of the "tosu" toilet space is seen at Tofukuji temple in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward on Oct. 17, 2022. (Mainichi/Kotaro Chigira)

KYOTO -- Japan's oldest existing toilet here was damaged when a car crashed into it on Oct. 17.

    The car crashed into the "tosu" facilities -- a national important cultural property -- on the grounds of Tofukuji temple in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward at around 9:30 a.m. The "tosu" toilet space was built at the Zen Buddhist temple in the first half of the Muromachi period (1336-1573). While no longer in use, it is known as Japan's oldest existing toilet.

    According to Kyoto Prefectural Police's Higashiyama Police Station and the temple, a 30-year-old man mistakenly put his vehicle into reverse when starting it, slamming it into the entrance of the tosu. Part of the room's doors and wall were damaged, but no one was injured.

    Police are investigating.

    (Japanese original by Reiko Nakajima and Kotaro Chigira, Kyoto Bureau)

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