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Perfect Days is a tidy look at Tokyo’s toilets

Courtesy of Master Mind Ltd

In Perfect Days, Hirayama (Koji Yakusho) is a bathroom cleaner. He starts his day early, gets a coffee from the vending machine, pops a classic rock tape into the stereo, and drives his van to various public restrooms, where he gets to work. He scrubs and tidies the sink meticulously. The various parts of a bidet are wiped. He uses a small mirror to check the underside of a toilet to make sure it’s sparkling in places no one will ever see.

I don’t love work, but I love stories about work. The stakes of a job are so obvious and familiar that you get to skip the explanations of motive (we don’t need to know why Don Draper wants to be a good ad man). What you gain instead is usually a process story — the illustrative part, where you get to…

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