Why haven’t washlets caught on in America?

It’s apparently not due to any lack of trying by Toto, but instead:

“For Americans here in the US, the biggest issues are personal experience with these products and a major reluctance to discuss bathroom issues or change ingrained habits. You wouldn’t imagine how many people giggle nervously or say “gross” when we try to educate them about the advantages of the bidet seat, yet these are the same people that are still using paper – a much inferior way to cleanse oneself.”


Why aren’t we all using Japanese toilets? (hat-tip to Japanzine for the link)

and click on the category below for more on this fascinating topic…


Why the high tech toilets? 4th attempt

I imagine the heated toilet seats came first, because if so they’d be the only heating in the average Japanese toilet. If so, there would’ve had to be a power supply to the toilet, and after that the other bells and whistles* probably just came along typical kaizen-style as “obvious” little additions until by and by “It’s a toilet, Jim, but not as we know it” 

* In case you haven’t tried a Japanese toilet and believe that they probably have everything, what with “crazy Japan” and “high tech Japan”, they don’t have actual bells and whistles. Bird song occasionally, but no bells or whistles as far as I know…

Why do notices tell men to take one step closer to the urinal?

Also here in Korea. Although it’s not as common in Japan as Korea, I quite often see guys spitting (or even dribbling) into the urinal before they start peeing. It occurs to me that leaving room for this might encourage standing a bit further back than might be suitable for urination.

As for why they spit in the first place, spitting in general is also more common in Korea (and even more common in China) but I’d wager it was also very common in Japan until Meiji-era authorities thought it ought to be stamped out along with mixed-sex bathing and samurai haircuts. Spitting no longer being allowed on the streets, men are making the most of the toilets, perhaps.

The theory why blowing your nose is okay in Europe and spitting is better in Asia is something to do with what infectious diseases were most common in those two places, but I forget which diseases they were.

Why are washlet toilets so popular in Japan? Third Attempt

According to Makoto Shiina in Shukan Kinyobi (July 4), water to wash your smelly bits and the sound of water to cover your natural noises might both be explainable by people getting used to the profusion of rivers through Japanese villages.

Not convinced by that one, but all theories are welcome at JapanExplained…

Why do half of the offices I work in have some very medical looking mouthwash in the bathroom?

The connection seems to be that they are offices of chemical and engineering companies, although the people actually in the offices just do desk work so can’t imagine they would have any special practical reason for using it???

Why does “bidet” on a “washlette” wash a lady’s bits rather than your rear end?

I’m guessing it’s simply because there are no suitable ways of saying “down there”, whereas お尻( “oshiri”- honorable bottom) fits fine on the button to spray the backside. Any other info or idle theories anyone?

Why do some Japanese guys spit in the urinal?

 Prostate trouble and problems getting started?? High stress levels means they can’t get comfortable in public?? Got too used to pissing sitting down on the orders of their wives??

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” Read the rest of this entry »

With the Japanese love of convenience, why do they still sell such exceedingly old-fashioned and hard work versions of corkscrews and can openers?

When they are combined, they do have a certain convenience and, perhaps more relevant, compactness. Alternatively, it could be a case of borrowings from the west reflecting the level of technology of the time it was borrowed- like the hightech Japanese toilets reflecting the technology that was available at the (much later) time at which they became standard. In this case, perhaps by the time the market would have been ready to trade up to a classier or easier to use version, most cans already had tab pulls. As people don’t often entertain at home, there are also few chances to show off your Philippe Starck corkscrew or electric tin opener

Salaryman stat of the day