My voyage down the road of traditional Japanese beauty products
was thrown upon me quite unexpectedly. Returning to work from a
lovely lunch of steaming hot soba noodles from a local Japanese
restaurant (I highly recommend Sushi-1, off US1 next time you are
in downtown Fort Lauderdale), I was presented with a package that
arrived whilst I was absent from the office. I was rather confused
as I wasn’t expecting anything so I examined the package carefully
before opening, and noted it came with a shipment label marked with
Chidoriya World. With a squeal and a sneaking suspicion of who was
responsible for the package, I tore the box open to have my suspicions
confirmed. A special big thank you to my lovely friend, Koumitsu,
who knows me well enough to know I’d be thrilled with a gift
of birdy do-do. To give her extra credit though, she did sweeten
the deal with some delicious smelling azuki and brown sugar soap
which smells good enough to eat!
After doubling over in juvenile giggles about receiving birdy poop
in the mail and racing around the office grossing my workmates out,
I sobered up enough to remember that it really is an age old beauty
secret passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of
years. I also acknowledge the fact that if it is still being used
today, it must really work. So, my giggles dissolved into minor
chuckles of respect as I contemplated my bottle of Uguisu no Fun.
Now, during the course of my researching of geiko and maiko –
I’ve come across numerous mentions of Uguisu no Fun, or, for
those who really wish to be in the know, Nightingale Droppings (Uguisu
no Fun sounds better, right?). I’ve always (secretly) wondered
whether it worked or not.
Uguisu no Fun even has a special mention in one
of my books “The Japanese Way of Beauty” by Michelle
Dominique Leigh, which contains the recipe and full instructions
for use, along with a very special note at the end of the recipe
mentioning it had been included in the book as it is one of the
most respected traditional Japanese recipes. I’d be lying
if I said I didn’t find the tradition intriguing.
As I went to bed on Friday night, after grueling workout from my
taiko class, I slowly talked myself to sleep, convincing myself
that in the name of research I should use Uguisu no Fun on Saturday
morning in a trial run on whether it would work or not. I mean,
if worse comes to worse and nothing noticeable happens at least
I can keep people in awe and say I at least gave it a go, right?
Thinking back about it now, I suspect that may have been the reason
for why I did the highly unusual thing of sleeping in until almost
noon on Saturday morning in an effort to delay.
When I used to live back home in Brisbane, Australia – I was
a regular little make-up fiend. I’d wear it every single day
and amazingly enough, my skin would still be in rather nice condition
despite the copious amount caked on. Since I moved to South Florida
4 years ago, I have had to shift to rarely wearing any largely due
to the fact that the heat and humidity wreaks havoc upon my skin
and I feel like an oil slick very early on in the day.
Even if I am not wearing make-up, I still have
trouble with my skin being overly enthusiastic in producing oils.
After having a good hard think about it though – I realized
that perhaps in addition to the heat and humidity, I am unintentionally
causing these problems to be worse with the current beauty products
I am using. Every morning, after I wash my face – I run a
cotton ball over it with toner, to deep clean my skin. Afterwards,
my skin feels so squeaky clean, it feels as though I’ve had
five face lifts and the surfaces is more reflective than a freshly
waxed sports car. I’m sure it isn’t really a good thing…as
it is likely the fact the toner is drying my skin out could be the
very reason I am having such drama with my oil glands in an effort
to over compensate for what I’ve just removed. Tsk tsk to
This line of thinking also prompted me to think about nature…that
perhaps, going back to more natural based beauty products is important
than using man made chemicals. I obviously feel a difference with
my body when I’ve been eating nice, healthy, natural foods
in comparison to nasty, mass produced, chemical/preservative filled
junk food – why should beauty products and make-up be any
different? Also, as my ever so tactful assistant told me at work,
manure makes the flowers grow more beautiful and radiant than chemical
As you can tell – I well and truly pep talked myself into
finding justifiable reasons to use Uguisu no Fun. All I had to do
was force myself out of bed.
After I finally crawled out of bed after all of the above contemplating,
I took my shower. The previous night, I had done a touch of researching
over the ‘net in relation to product usage. I noticed on numerous
spa websites, they instructed that the face should be exfoliated
first – as it sloughs away the dead skin, and leaves the pores
wide open to accept the beauty treatment. Charming. So, like all
good little researchers should do, I exfoliated my face.
After my shower – I very carefully pulled all my hair back
off my face, and stared at myself in the mirror. My partner, who
was highly amused by the entire situation, couldn’t help but
sit in the bathroom staring at me with sick fascination which bordered
upon horror when he realized I was dead serious with the deed I
was about to do. Taking a deep breath, I picked up the bottle of
Uguisu no Fun and smiled at how cute and quaint it looked. A pretty
little white bottle with pink and white ume patterns all over it.
I’m sure many know already, but just incase: ume is my favourite
Japanese pattern and flower. Seeing ume patterns always makes me
happy. With an ume induced smile on my face, I took a sniff at the
powder. Oh dear.
I’m not quite sure how to describe the smell of Uguisu no
Fun other than to say it has a very deep musky smell to it. It doesn’t
smell like, well, poop, to be crass…but, it certainly doesn’t
have the sweet smell of ume to it either. Then again, I reminded
myself, there are many other beauty products that people use out
there that smell far worse than this. Honestly, I think it was more
a psychological “urgh” than a physical one considering
what the base product is (the 100% base product, mind you).
I very carefully read the directions for use, as I certainly didn’t
intend on any accidents due to misuse and according to the instructions,
you are mix ½ teaspoon of the dried Uguisu no Fun with a
few drops of warm water in the palm of your hand to form a paste.
You then massage the paste into your skin using small circular motions
– keeping well clear away from your eyes. So, I did just that
- I put ½ teaspoon of the powder in my palm, mixed it with
water, took a deep breath, and to the sounds of the “eeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwww!”
coming from the direction of my partner, I started massaging Uguisu
no Fun into my face in small circular motions with a hint of a small,
nervous smile of disbelief that I was even doing this in the first
Once the water is added to Uguisu no Fun – the musky smell
became much stronger and I realized the instructions should have
mentioned staying as far away from the nostrils as well as the eye
area just to be on the safe side. “In the name of research”
I chanted silently to myself as I massaged. Once I was done, I stared
at myself in the mirror. Wow. There I was staring back with a very
organic mask on my face. All of a sudden, I felt terribly empowered
and the childish, playground taunts from my partner faded into the
background when the realization of how brave I was hit me.
After that glorious split second realization of bravery, I was el
pronto to the wash basin and rinsed my mask off. Then, I rinsed
a bit more. Then, again I rinsed, rinsed and rinsed just to be on
the safe side that it was all removed. I looked at my face and then
promptly rinsed it off on last time just to be doubly sure. I mean,
I wasn’t really keen on the idea of walking around with dried
“beauty” product on my face that I forgot to rinse off
properly. At last, I was satisfied and patted my face dry and stared
in the mirror. My verdict?
I was rather pleasantly surprised.
My skin felt very clean and not at all oily. It felt slightly moist,
the way it should feel – naturally. It certainly didn’t
feel dryer than the Sahara desert, unlike how the toner and other
beauty product tends to leave it. It also didn’t irritate
my skin at all, so I had no red splotches or unsightly marks. My
skin also felt nice and smooth to the touch.
I must admit, it DID leave a faint smell that
lingered for about 15-20 minutes after use, which was confirmed
multiple times by my partner sniffing my cheeks and going “yup,
you smell”. Thanks, honey. Application of moisturizer or make-up
would easily help the smell disappear though, however, I do think
this is an procedure best left for night time before going to bed
so you don't have to worry about the smell bothering anyone else
except your loved one, cat, or dog, which ever your case may be.
By late afternoon, I was very impressed. Amazingly enough, my face
was not the usual oil slick with lines of workers waiting to set
up rigs, but rather, it still felt the same as it did in the morning
– soft, slightly moist…but not excessively oily. It
felt as though I had put an application of high quality moisturizer.
I would say it felt nice, natural and rather refreshing.
I did realize after the entire application – the book about
traditional Japanese beauty mentions the mask can be left on up
to 20 minutes – the longer the better in relation to it working
its magic. I didn’t realize this, and for my first application
I only left it on for around a minute. I’m brave, yes…but
not THAT brave! It also mentions to use the application once or
twice a week. I think that I may continue this experiment over the
course of the next month in the name of research and apply another
application later this week and leave it on longer and so forth.
Who knows, perhaps, I’ll have the best looking skin in South
Florida, and people will wonder why I have a bemused grin when asked
what my secret is.
Oh, and you want to know what true love is? Your partner kissing
you on the cheek after you’ve finished with your application
of Uguisu no Fun, even though you apparently smell.
I’ll be sure to update with how my new beauty treatment is
So, now you know someone who knows someone who
knows someone who has tried Uguisu no Fun and you feel safe saying
you want to try it too, but you wonder where you can get your hands
on this eccentric treatment? Check out the below information for
all your Uguisu no Fun needs!
- It cleanses, lightens, nourishes, tones, smoothes,
moisturizes and exfoliates.
- Not suitable for sensitive or allergy-prone
- Suitable for aging, oily, blemished or rough
skin or for those looking to clear their complexion
Mix ½ teaspoon and a few drops of water to make a paste.
Massage in circular motions on face and leave on for up to 20 minutes
as a facial mask. Rinse off thoroughly. Apply once or twice a week,
Chidoriya World (where mine came from):
Important Note: The above
editorial is not an endorsement for this product – it is my
personal experience and thoughts in the use of it. Being the type
of person I am, I like to have hands on experience in relation to
what I research, and the testing of Uguisu no Fun is just a natural
progression of my thirst for knowledge. The more I know and learn
about something, the better I can write about it, at least, I hope.
Obviously, as with any alternative beauty treatment
(or any regular beauty treatment, for that matter), please use common
sense if you chose to experiment with this particular product. Those
who suffer from sensitive skin should avoid this product, along
with those who suffer frequent allergies – especially from
birds. Immortal Geisha will not be held responsible for any adverse
reactions people may experience from trying this product.
Also - please keep in mind that it is a
specific type of "fun" that is used for this product -
so any old "fun" from the bottom of your bird cage, top
of your car, or from your local pigeon colony just won't cut it!