Japanese toilet: what it was and what it has become

Japanese toilet: what it was and what it has become
Japanese toilet: what it was and what it has become

Just some fifty years ago, Japan lay in ruins after the war. However, the wise domestic policy and hard work of its citizens performed a miracle: the country literally rose from the ashes and quickly became one of the most economically developed countries in the world. Japan specializes in technologies that have been introduced into all spheres of life, up to the most intimate ones. So how are Japanese toilets arranged? Let no one be confused by this topic, it is quite interesting and very important.

Traditional Japanese toilet room

As you know, the East is a delicate matter. And this applies not only to the worldview and mentality, but also to many devices that a Western person has a completely different look at. For example, we can take hygiene habits, for example, the device of the toilet. Now, with the phrase "Japanese toilet" we represent something high-tech, but quite recently the situation was completely different.

The traditional Japanese toilet is just a hole in the floor, over which you need to squat down to relieve yourself. There are always special slippers in this room or in front of it, used to keep it clean. You can still see them now if you go toJapanese public toilet, but houses are usually completely different.

toilet japanese

So, how did this side of life develop in the Land of the Rising Sun throughout its long history? It is very interesting to follow what was before and how everything turned out the way it is now.

The evolution of the Japanese toilet

Before the local population began to lead a largely sedentary lifestyle, people used ordinary garbage pits as a latrine, into which they also dumped corpses, leftover food, etc. According to the first mention of toilets in cities, they were arranged in the form of rectangular recesses through which water flowed, carrying away all sewage into canals that flowed into rivers. The second type was the so-called kawaii, which were located on special bridges. Everything was even simpler there: just holes in the floor above the river. Finally, this type of toilet disappeared only in the middle of the 20th century, and before that they were preserved only in parts of the country remote from cities. Later, in rich houses, another Japanese toilet appeared, which was mobile. It was a wooden box with an adsorbent placed inside - ash or coal. Servants moved him around the house to those who needed him, and helped to relieve themselves. Already in the 13th century, a separate toilet room appeared with fixtures that are now considered traditional. Finally, the next step was to copy the European type of toilet bowl, which the Japanese improved, at the same time combining it with a bidet. Now such a toilet can be found in 92%homes throughout the Land of the Rising Sun.

japanese public toilet

Also curiosity is toilet paper. Outside cities, leaves or algae were commonly used for hygiene purposes. We althier people could afford to use a device called "mokkan" for this. The fact is that city officials used wooden tablets for various purposes. When what was written on them was no longer needed, the top layer was scraped off so that marks could be made again. After several such treatments, the tablets became completely thinner, and then they were used for hygiene and were called "mokkan". As paper production became cheaper, old habits became a thing of the past. Today, this type of goods involves a huge variety. Toilet paper comes in several layers, with designs, perfumed, fully soluble in water, etc.

how do japanese toilets work

How does it work?

The toilet itself, as a rule, is completely ordinary, the focus is only in the toilet seat, connected to the water supply and electricity. It is he who provides all the comfort that the toilet room offers. The need to improve the European toilet bowl is well explained by the Inax company, which is engaged in the development and production of high-tech lids. According to representatives of this company, the toilet is the only place in the Japanese house where a person can be alone with himself. And there he needs to provide maximum comfort. As a result, instead of the understandablefor any person of the drain lever, we have a panel with buttons, next to which the inscriptions are not always duplicated in English, and pictograms do not always help out. You should not press them at random, it may not end very well. It is best to first study the instructions or at least familiarize yourself with the basic functions that a modern toilet has. There is absolutely no need to learn Japanese.

japanese toilet


High-tech Japanese toilet can still be divided into several types according to different criteria. Firstly, now there are models that can be controlled with buttons, from the remote control and even from a special application on a smartphone. Secondly, in order to save resources, the toilet bowl can be combined with the sink, so that the water with which a person washes his hands after performing natural needs will also serve to drain sewage.

Also, of course, the number of functions varies. It can be only a hygienic shower or a wide variety of features at once, such as forced cleaning after each use, lighting at night, and so on. The cost directly depends on this.

Main Functions

The first thing that impresses any European is a bidet. The Japanese, who live in small apartments, obviously do not want to waste space on several hygiene devices, and therefore decided to combine everything they need in one. That is why the Japanese toilet is quite capable of coping with the function of a bidet. In this case, you can set the temperature, direction and intensityjets. So, the Japanese women's toilet is much softer. A dedicated hairdryer is also provided.

japanese female toilet

Second necessary function was seat heating. The fact is that heating a home is a serious expense item for an ordinary Japanese. They prefer to save on this, although in the cold season it sometimes causes serious inconvenience. However, the toilet needs to be warm, which is why seat heating is so important.

Opening and closing the lid - automatically or on command - is also quite a requested feature, you do not have to do it by hand, which helps to maintain cleanliness. Well, for sure, in Japanese families, it is not often that spouses quarrel over unraised or unopened lids.

Another trait that is especially pronounced among young girls is extreme shyness. The smells and sounds inherent in the process of defecation are embarrassing, although they are natural. That is why, often in the process of using the toilet room, you can turn on music or the sounds of babbling water, as well as forced ventilation at the source of the unpleasant smell, that is, in the toilet itself.

toilet room


More advanced and expensive models offer a number of other functions. Those controlled by smartphones can keep statistics of visits. Also, in response to the needs of an aging population, modern toilets can collect information about the properties of urine and feces and send them to the nearest medical center for analysis.

There are also presence sensors built into the lid andlanding. If necessary, they can signal that a person has been on the toilet for too long.


This part terrifies any European who encounters a high-tech toilet for the first time. But if we talk about the basic set of functions, managing a modern Japanese toilet is not so difficult.

The most visible button is usually "stop". It has a square on it, so it's easy to recognize.

Functions of washing and bidet, as a rule, are depicted as jets of water directed at a schematic man and woman. Buttons can be located nearby that regulate the temperature and intensity of the jet.

Another key, which is present on the control panel most often, is accompanied by a pattern in the form of notes. As you might guess, pressing it will turn on music or other sounds.

So, managing basic functions is not that hard. When it comes to special remotes, displays, or smartphone apps, things can get tricky, but thankfully, the Japanese understand the realities of the modern world, so labels are often duplicated in English.

modern japanese toilet control


It is believed that the luxury of the Japanese toilet is not available to Europeans because of the high cost. However, this is not quite true. Simple covers with a basic set of functions can be purchased for 20-30 thousand rubles. Of course, this can hardly be called a budget solution, but you don’t need to work on such a toilet all your life. The upper threshold of prices is 300-500 thousand for an ultra-modernA cyber-toilet with a maximum range of functions, a self-cleaning surface and an antibacterial coating can only be afforded by very we althy connoisseurs of comfort.

About useful

Absolutely all toilets in Japan are free. The local culture suggests that demanding money for the opportunity to relieve yourself is like charging for air. So the Japanese toilet can be found in cities almost at every turn and, if necessary, use it without having a penny with you.

There is one more important thing to keep in mind when planning to visit Japan. We are talking about special slippers that must be put on before entering the toilet room. In no case should you stay in the same shoes that are used to move around the rest of the apartment. As a rule, such slippers are located right in front of the toilet and are signed accordingly. Of course, when returning, you need to remember to change your shoes again.

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