Why do the Japanese knock on the toilet door? Third attempt

“in Japan it is wrong to leave the toilet door open when you are not in there, so they genuinely have no idea if someone is in the cubicle or not….
Apparently this is all about Japanese people seeing toilets as ‘unclean’ areas and so hiding them away”

From Jo In Japan, although as she mentions it doesn’t explain knocking on a door with a clear red sign showing it is engaged, which is just sheer bad manners and a way of making you hurry up. I have also found since it the chief thing I hate in Japan that half the people who do it really agressively in a cafe I often go to are in fact Chinese who work in the “massage parlour” around the corner.



  1. Catherine said,

    August 13, 2008 at 2:02 am

    Knocking on the door is a way to “ask” if someone is in there. You can knock back to let them know.

  2. alexcase said,

    August 13, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Indeed, but why do you need to if it is clearly locked and therefore busy?

  3. Kelly said,

    September 15, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    In case someone slithered out underneath the door and left it locked? some people do that here…

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