lifestyle

Japan on Olympic drive to get rid of squat toilets

25 Comments
By Behrouz Mehri

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25 Comments
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Well, glad I logged in for this good news.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Squatting is for the birds.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Agree with both of you. Personally, I think ALL toilets in Japan should be western style with washlets. Tourists start coming here and using them, many will most certainly want to take some back. TOTO could become the Toyota for toilets. Just the availability of washlets can be their greatest advertising campaign.

LET THEM USE WASHLETS!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes to washlets and heated seats. Boo to squatters.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I prefer being offered a choice. Times are I'd prefer me nether regions not contact any surface.

Also ironic as a study showed Japanese youth excelled internationally at the standing jump, which researches attributed to the squat toilets in their schools. (This is true - read it years ago but don't feel like looking up the source.)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nooo!

I like the squat toilet for public toilets.

It's clean.

I don't like to let my butt touch the sheet which strangers' butt skin touched.

In public toilet rooms, there are multiple toilets usually.

It's reasonable that just one of these is a squat toilet.

It's also a kind of issues of diversity.

Not only Japan but also some other countries have squat toilets traditionally.

The idea that Western toilet is only a good toilet is a western-centered thinking, isn't it?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nooo! I like the squat toilet for public toilets. It's clean. I don't like to let my butt touch the sheet which strangers' butt skin touched.

In public toilet rooms, there are multiple toilets usually. It's reasonable that just one of these is a squat toilet.

It's also a kind of issues of diversity. Not only Japan but also some other countries have squat toilets traditionally. The idea that Western toilet is only a good toilet is a western-centered thinking, isn't it?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not a fan of squatting, though have had to do it a few times.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese washlet toilets mark a progress in human evolution, like the pencil, the refrigerator, the plane and Automobil. They should just be installed everywhere.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The squat types would be better if they had a secure shelf nearby for you to empty your pockets of keys and coins, smart phones and other items that are at risk of falling down into the trough.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You guys realize on a western toilet you don't actually have to sit on the seat. You can kind of perch a cm or 2 above it. I

Nothing but air!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

While they are improving washrooms for the Olympics, perhaps the government could encourage JR to add some hot water, soap and dryers to their station washrooms?

Totally disgusting how in many stations, including Shinjuku, the busiest station in the world, the only option for tourists caught short without their own detergent / towel would be to not wash at all or simply wet their hands in cold water.

Given that most people will be arriving in Japan thinking it is some kind of hi-tech country, I doubt many of these visitors will realize they have to carry their own supplies around if they want to be hygienic.

Gross!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

With all due respect, as I get older, I appreciate the squat toilet more as it clears you out avoiding constipation. I was just in California and met the superlative hybrid toilet, western style but slightly lower so you had to make a kind of 1/2 squat. Squatting is healthier.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Squat toilets are maybe traditional but they are third world. I lived every day in Japan for 6 years and never used a squat toilet as they are nasty compared to western style toilets. Japan needs to grow up and be part of the modern world.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I've never understood why they insist on keeping squatters around, even installing them in new restrooms.

Young people who grew up with modern toilets at home don't like them.

Old people with weak, aged legs and arthritic knees and hips don't like them.

I've never seen anybody use them in public restrooms, either. They are always vacant, with everybody choosing the western toilet and/or urinal.

I've been a die-hard washlet user for almost 20 years now in both the US and Japan. It's Japan's single greatest contribution to mankind.

Visitors to the Olympics will fall in love with them. And, it's not only Toto who will profit from it. Lixil/Inax and Panasonic are major washlet manufacturers, as well.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Some posters make some valid points.

Yes, there should be a choice. Some people actually prefer squat loos.

On the other hand, there are some who have weak knees, eg the elderly, the very young and westerners.

nippori nick:

You guys realize on a western toilet you don't actually have to sit on the seat. You can kind of perch a cm or 2 above it.

True, I've done it before. However, you have to position yourself carefully. You can either make a mess in the front, or a mess at the back. I speak from experience.

We have sit-down loos with bidets and I always carry those small bottle of alcohol to clean the seat. They say that squat loos are better and more natural for the body, which I think is true, but they don't come with bidets. I also got a bargain and boight one of those portable bidets for a few hundred yen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As a foreigner in Japan, I think we should keep the toilets as they are . If you don't like the squat, just wait longer. Although the washlet is the most popular, having a few squats here and there helps keep things real and is just another cultural experience.

Sure, the survey says a lot, but maybe we should see how many foreigners actually use the washer! Does that mean we'll remove that option too?

Tax money will be much better spent elsewhere!

And,

@hawkeye:

Japan needs to grow up and be part of the modern world.

In some cases the statement would be bang on. Here, it just makes you sound spoiled.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Squatting flat-footed as needed for such toilets do tend to empty you out nicely because, if you think about it, it is a natural way to defecate. But it can be a bit of an Olympian effort if it's one of those times when you have to wipe forever and your thigh muscles start to burn as you stay squatted for what seems like an eternity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LagunaToday  09:55 am JST

Also ironic as a study showed Japanese youth excelled internationally at the standing jump, which researches attributed to the squat toilets in their schools.

Is this like the research that says Japanese green tea (but only Japanese green tea!) cures every disease and Japanese natto blocks cancer and Japanese insulation-free housing is superior to all other housing for reasons?

There's a lot of BS research out there when it comes to justifying habits peculiar to Japan.

That said, I've been in Tokyo for several years and I can't even remember the last time I saw a squat toilet. I'm sure they're out there, but it's not since I've been in deep inaka that I've ever had to worry I might not have access to a sitter.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Again Japan using the Olympics to make a change. If Japan wasn’t going into huge debt for a sporting event, would they still make these changes?

Apparently not; i.e. “Screw our citizens, we have to impress the foreigners.”

On topic, with some extra-filthy public restrooms, I prefer a squat toilet over the urine-soaked “western” seat.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I have read that sqautting is a healthier position to do #2, but if no one wants to use the squatters, then they should be replaced. I would guess that the majority of younger Japanese don't use the squatters, and maybe older Japanese can't physically use them. In a strange way, it's kind of sad that we might not see them anymore.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The best thing about Japan is that there are toilets everywhere!

Just be glad there's somewhere to release number 2

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It would be so much more to the put to modernise the toilets which have no flush. Japan has some of the best toilets in Asia but also some of the worst, the no flush ones with a huge whole that forces you to see what others have done before you. Having a choice between squat and sit-down is the best solution. There is nothing worse than a dirty sit-down toilet. At least, with a squat toilet you are separated from the dirt.

It should be remembered that not all tourists are Westerners who prefer sit-down toilets. Many come from places that use and prefer squat toilets.

I wonder if any bureaucrats have been offered particularly well-paid and easy jobs with Toto or Inax when they retire.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am not a fan of squat toilets when I twisted my ankle it was an outright nightmare not to mention my trips to the countryside still has a lot, so yea I am in favor of phasing these squat toilets out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Got caught short with a bad case of the squits some years ago and the only option was a squat pan. Made a nasty mess on the back of my jeans which is probably worse than making a mess in my jeans, seeing as it was a public toilet. Be gone damn squat pans, be gone!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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