Stealing toilet paper is an evil that can only be undone by a greater evil.

In one of the more peculiar developments of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, people all over Japan have been buying up toilet paper like it’s going out of style… and like they don’t have wonderfully advanced toilets that can hose their entire undercarriage down. Even still, like a roll of two-ply flung by a sixth-grader at their least-favorite teacher’s house, there’s no stopping this bum rush, despite the official Twitter account of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry recently being a steady stream of stocked toilet paper pictures.

Despite steady manufacturer supplies of TP, store stocks have trouble keeping up with the buying frenzy, and those missing out on the latest shipment are sometimes resorting to theft. This was the problem faced by a store owner in Niigata Prefecture going by the Twitter handle Minku (@moemoekohu). At least it was, until they took matters into their own hands and summoned the forces of evil to protect the shop’s restroom from bandits.

▼ “Recently, the stock of toilet paper in the customer’s restroom where I work has been disappearing quickly, so I handmade a few designs as a little mood-altering interior decoration and stopped losing paper.”

The scrolls took about a minute to make and feature a few ominous kanji characters such as “hunger” and “evil” and three all-seeing eyes. Minku told J-Town Net that 10 to 20 rolls were usually kept in the restroom cupboard and less than one a day had been used up until recently.

After three to five rolls started vanishing every day, Minku whipped up the curse without hesitation. It’s an old habit of the store owner, who used to scrawl a curse on the last pudding cup in order to prevent others from getting to it first.

▼ Minku is also an avid illustrator.

“I think humans naturally fear the unknown and cruses,” Minku told J-Town Net, “I used that in this case and am glad it worked out as I had hoped.” The simple ingenuity also impressed other Twitter users who applauded the strokes of bad luck.

“Brilliant. Who wants to risk a curse over a roll of toilet paper?”
“Talismans are a great idea!”
“That’s good, but your paper is still vulnerable to demons and yokai.”
“That’s really good art. It’s simple but unsettling.”
“That’s amazingly effective and looks cool too.”

Another Twitter user pointed out that despite having no basis in logic and reasoning, these kinds of spiritual iconography are surprisingly effective in a society that largely considers itself non-religious.

Similar tactics had long been used around Japan, such as the use of torii gates in areas afflicted by illegal garbage dumping or public urination. While proven effective at preventing the theft of toilet paper or littering, it would be very interesting to see exactly how strong this threat of bad karma works in Japan in terms of monetary value.

Source: Twitter/@moemoekohu, J-Town Net
Featured image: Twitter/@moemoekohu
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!