Here are three ruling figures who passed on in bathroom-related incidents:
1. Uesugi Kenshin, a powerful Japanese warlord of the 16th century, was purportedly killed by a ninja assassin laying in wait in the cesspool beneath his latrine.
2. Catherine the Great, the longest-ruling female leader of Russia, died in 1796, after suffering a stroke and collapsing while on the toilet.
3. Elvis Presley (the King of Rock and Roll,) one of the most influential singers of the 20th century, was discovered unresponsive near the toilet on his bathroom floor on August 16th, 1977.
Since I am originally from Japan, I am very familiar with Uesugi Kenshin (actually, Uesugi is the family name). He is one of the most revered and greatest warlords in Japanese history. Naturally, I was very intrigued when I saw spaceship’s record that included him as someone who died on the toilet. I vaguely remember hearing the story with the ninja when I was growing up. So, I did some digging. Unfortunately, the only available resource I have is Wikipedia. Even so, the write-up on him is quite lengthy: 33 pages in Japanese and 11 pages in English.
Spaceship wrote: “The actual circumstances surrounding Kenshin's death are quite well recorded, and do not necessarily contradict the ninja theory, because he appears to suffered some form of crisis, probably a stroke, while in his lavatory. The Kenshin Gunki states that, 'on the 9th day of the 3rd month he had a stomach ache in his toilet. This unfortunately persisted until the 13th day when he died.'"
According to the Japanese version, the theory of assassination by a ninja sent by his enemy lord is categorized as “a popular version.” However, the more established theory says that the most likely cause of death was cerebrovascular disorder or cerebral hemorrhage due to hypertension, as he was a heavy drinker and ate too much salty food. He supposedly fell, became unconscious and died six days later.
There is no mention of the toilet in Japanese version, which is not surprising. It is sort of an honor thing – his warriors would not have dared mention that their revered warlord died in his toilet even if he did!
However, it was highly probable that he did die in his toilet. Here’s why. (This is my theory.)
Typically, a Japanese bathroom is separated into two rooms: a room with a bathtub and a large sink where you undress and bathe and a room with a stall and a small sink, which is called the toilet. Even today, most Japanese houses are not centrally heated and the toilet is one of the coldest rooms in the house in winter because it is not heated. It is common that people die of stroke or cerebral hemorrhage in winter more so than in summer, by going directly into a cold toilet from the warm bathroom or living area. Uesugi Kenshin died on March 13, which is still cold in Japan, especially where his castle was.
As I mentioned, Uesugi Kenshin is one of the greatest warlords in Japanese history. He lived from 1530 to 1578. He was considered a superior strategist and tactician. There were more than ten well-known battles that he won decisively. He was on his way to battle against his biggest rival when he suddenly and unexpectedly died. He was never married. Supposedly, he fell deeply in love with a daughter of his father’s enemy when he was in his twenties. They were forbidden to see each other. She later committed suicide (Japanese version of Romeo and Juliet). He said to have fallen in love again later but it did not work out, and he vowed never to marry.
German submarine U-1206 went into service on March 16, 1944.
The boat was commissioned and then took part in training exercises until July '44, then was assigned for work.
On April 14th, while on the first patrol, the boat sank, after the toilet was operated improperly. Misuse of the toilet caused the water to flood the boat.
Also, Air Canada Flight 797 was destroyed on June 2, 1983 with 23 fatalities after an in-flight fire began in or around the rear lavatory. Investigators could not determine the cause or exact point of origin for the fire.
EVERYONE: Contribute Stories & Facts about noteable figures who died on the toilet for our episode RE: The Number Two.
NOTE: Please refer to THIS TEXT RECORD when contributing to this collab.