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Japanese Nightingale Droppings

Secret of Geisha's Skin Care: Myths, Facts and How to Use

Nightingale Droppings Uguisu no Fun Facial Care Powder

Uguisu-no-Fun is the Japanese term for powdered nightingale droppings, also known as "bird poop" facial.

Geishas and Kabuki actors have been using Uguisu-no-Fun since mid-Edo period (1603-1868) to brighten and lighten their skin and to remove make up, and for maintaining their much admired pale, porcelain complexion.

Uguisu-no-Fun contains natural Guanine, an organic compound widely used by the cosmetics industry for brightening skin and restoring damage due to sun exposure and aging.

As of December 2015, due to significant difficulties obtaining genuine supplies in conformance with Japanese bird protection regulations, we are regretfully unable to continue offering this great traditional product.

How to Use

You can use the Uguisu no Fun as a

I) Face wash, or 

II) Mask recipe by mixing it with your favorite powder, or 

III) Mask by using Uguisu no Fun powder only.


I. Face Wash

  1. Lather facial soap in palms.
  2. Mix in 0.5 grams (1/6 teaspoon).
  3. Wash face, avoiding eyes area.
  4. Rinse and moisturize.


II. Facial Mask Recipes

  1. 23003-05-nightingale-droppings-uguisu-no-fun-facial-mask.jpgAdd 1 gram to 2-3 grams of clay, rice bran powder or other ingredient you like.
  2. Mix with warm water. 
  3. Apply mask, avoiding eyes area.
  4. Leave for 5-10 minutes. 
  5. Rinse and moisturize.


III. Facial Mask (Uguisu no Fun Only)

  1. Mix 2.5 grams with warm water. Use few drops of water at a time, so you don't make the mask too runny.
  2. Apply mask, avoiding eyes area. Go carefully to get full coverage. A flat brush (such as a fan brush) will help.
  3. Leave for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Rinse and moisturize.

Myths and Facts

Uguisu-no-Fun bleaches the skin.
Uguisu-no-Fun lightens the skin and the result is a fairer, whiter complexion. But it has no bleach. 

Uguisu-no-Fun is an exfoliating facial scrub.
No. Uguisu-no-Fun is not a facial scrub. Facial scrubs are mild abrasives designed to pull away dead skin when gently rubbed on the face. Uguisu-no-Fun is not abrasive at all.

Uguisu-no-Fun contains “guanine enzyme”.
Not quite.  Uguisu-no-Fun does contain guanine.  However, guanine is not an enzyme.  An enzyme is a protein which increases (or decreases) the rate of chemical reactions.  The common reference to enzymes in Uguisu-no-Fun applies to its protease and lipase compounds (which break up fat), not guanine.  

Uguisu-no-Fun has an unpleasant smell.
Maybe to some, though most people find its musky smell unobjectionable. It is odorless after use.

Uguisu-no-Fun is unhygienic.
No. Commercial Uguisu-no-Fun is treated with UV light to produce a completely hygienic, bacteria free compound.

The birds are wild nightingales.
No. The birds are similar to nightingales, but they are not wild. They are bred in captivity under sanitary conditions. it is against the law in Japan to handle wild birds.

Other bird droppings can do the same thing.
The short answer is "may be", but you will be taking a chance.  Commercial Uguisu-no-Fun has been used for at least 300 years by Japanese women with proven results and no known side effects.

About Uguisu-no-Fun


Lady and Mirror

Uguisu is the Japanese Bush Warbler. It's a small, secretive bird, whose distinctive call (transcribed as "Ho-hoke-kyo") is much loved by the Japanese. 

Much has been written on wonders of Uguisu-no-Fun as a traditional Japanese facial treatment. The first modern written mention of the use of Uguisu-no-Fun is in a book entitled Shunkin-sho (Portrait of lady Shunkin) published in 1933 by Junichiro Tanizaki, set in Japan’s Meiji period (1868-1912).

According to an interview we conducted in January 2011 with the staff of Hyakuske, a two-hundred year old cosmetic shop in the Asakusa district of Tokyo, the use of Uguisu-no-Fun was already popular during the mid-Edo period (1603-1868.) 


The main ingredient in Uguisu-no-Fun is a natural compound called Guanine. It is one of the four molecules which form the rungs of the DNA helix (it is the “G” molecule in the “ATGC” sequence.)

Guanine is one of the four molecules which form the rungs of the DNA helix

Damage to DNA’s guanine is a major cause of chronic conditions of skin aging and photo-aging. About 2% of all the oxygen we consume up ends up as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) most frequently by the oxidation of DNA’s guanine base.  Exposure to sun’s UV rays also causes skin damage by guanine oxidation.

Guanine — also known as “pearl essence” — is what gives fish scales their natural iridescent luster.

Guanine — also known as “pearl essence” — is what gives fish scales their natural iridescent luster.  Guanine is widely used by the cosmetics industry in shampoos, nail polish and other beauty products for adding shine and luster.

One of the key compounds for damaged skin DNA repair is a guanine derived enzyme called OGG1 (8-Oxo-Guanine Glycosylase).  In clinical studies OGG1 has been demonstrated to treat skin damage caused by UV exposure.  OGG1 is used by the leading cosmetic manufacturer in their high end skin care products.


• Textbook of Aging Skin — Farage, Miranda A.; Miller, Kenneth W.; Maibach, Howard I. (Eds.) ISBN: 978-3-540-89655-5
• Topical treatment with OGG1 enzyme affects UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis — Wulff BC, Schick JS, Thomas-Ahner JM, Kusewitt DF, Yarosh DB, Oberyszyn TM. Department of Pathology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

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