lifestyle

Survey reveals over 60% of elementary students hate Japanese-style toilets

30 Comments
By Master Blaster

No doubt, by now Japan’s super toilets (known as washlets) have become a well-known symbol this country. Their bevy of features like heating and cleaning add an unprecedented level of comfort to our porcelain thrones.

However, there’s a dark side to Japan’s restrooms: what’s known as the “Japanese-style toilet.” For those lucky enough to have never encountered one, it’s a throwback to the olden days of going in a hole in the ground. Only this time the hole is covered in porcelain and has flushing capabilities.

The 2012 Elementary School Students' Toilet Habits Survey was conducted by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical and revealed that 61.9% of elementary school students have had an unpleasant experience with a Japanese toilet.

Furthermore, nearly half of the 412 respondents claimed they have held in their number twos rather than deal with these ancient commodes.

One might suspect that sanitation is the main reason for the kids’ apprehension. However, while poor performance and stinking were popular complaints, the most common reason not to use one was “embarrassment.” (53.7%)

It’s a reasonable response considering to use these things you have to assume a position commonly used by members of the animal kingdom like dogs and monkeys. You may also need some beastly hindquarters to support yourself depending how long you need.

The problem may also stem from home as 98.1% households have gotten with the times and use only Western-style bowls. This means the coming generation may be woefully inexperienced at using Japan’s crappy crappers during their formative toilet training period.

This survey is a part of the Plan for Shiny Toilets in Elementary Schools which was launched in 2010 with the aim of improving the conditions of school restrooms by renovations, donations of more Western-style toilets and toilet education.

Source: Resemom via My Game News Flash (Japanese)

© RocketNews24

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30 Comments
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as a non-japanese i have never really minded using the old style - it is just that they can be so DIRTY!!! maybe that is because people no longer know how to use them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The best use for these toilets is when you need a sample of solids for the medical exam.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Most uncomfortable toilets ever for a foreigner, I only use them if I am desperate. When I do use them they are dirty and smelly.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Each time you sit in a Japanese style toilet in a crouching position as animal does, with knees bent and the buttocks on or near the heels, you get a full body exercise that trains primarily the muscles of the thighs, hips and buttocks. This is how Japanese exercises everyday.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

At home, where you know it's clean and might want to relax with a good book, a throne is best.

Outside, where you don't know who's been there before you and simply want to get the deed done before you go on your way, a squat toilet that you don't have to actually touch is far preferable.

The 'dirty and smelly' thing has nothing at all to do with the shape of the toilet, and everything to do with the unfortunate idea that hygiene isn't so important in a public toilet. When I first came to Japan I lived in a place where the toilet was 'old-style'. It got cleaned regularly and was every bit as hygienic as a throne. Just not so good for relaxing.

a throwback to the olden days of going in a hole in the ground

a position commonly used by members of the animal kingdom

crappy crappers

98.1% households have gotten with the times and use only Western-style bowls

Cultural snobbery. How do you think people in the West went before the invention of the WC? At least the 'old-fashioned' Japanese hole-in-the-floor led to an enclosed space that could be cleaned out regularly. In the West the traditional garderobe dropped straight into the great outdoors and the smell was so bad people hung their clothes there to keep fleas away.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

cleoOCT. 02, 2012 - 10:21AM JST Cultural snobbery. How do you think people in the West went before the invention of the WC? At least the 'old-fashioned' Japanese hole-in-the-floor led to an enclosed space that could be cleaned out regularly. In the West the traditional garderobe dropped straight into the great outdoors and the smell was so bad people hung their clothes there to keep fleas away.

Yes real true Cleo. You're spot on. I watched a documentary about London a few weeks back and how they used to do when nature calls back in the old old days. I couldn't believe it.

I'm not too much a fan of Japanese style toilets, but it't not that bad. I even encountered similar toilets in Thailand which were rather clean I must say, I guess a lot of people still use these types of toilets over there so them keep them clean.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Cultural snobbery. How do you think people in the West went before the invention of the WC? At least the 'old-fashioned' Japanese hole-in-the-floor led to an enclosed space that could be cleaned out regularly. In the West the traditional garderobe dropped straight into the great outdoors and the smell was so bad people hung their clothes there to keep fleas away.

In the west they had outhouses which are similar to a western toilet where one sits in an outside room. They did not squat in a hole.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

In the west they had outhouses which are similar to a western toilet where one sits in an outside room. They did not squat in a hole.

You do realise that before the advent of WCs the outhouse was built over a hole? And while the idea of flushing toilets has been around for a while, it was not until the mid-1800s that they became common in middle-class houses.

If the problem is one of sitting vs squatting, claiming that one is superior to the other is, I repeat, cultural snobbery. I prefer not to sit where some stranger's bare bottom has been.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

if a cleaned toilet , its the best please to take a crap , the position cleans all my intestines!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

toilet education.

hahaha we need to appoint a minister to this position and have Master degree graduates teach this subject.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There also needs to be instructions on how to use them like they have for the western toilets, the first time I used one I had to take off my pants because I didn't want to crap on them, I didn't think to just pull them down over my butt, I was so used to pulling them down to my ankles I nearly crapped all over them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

gogogo, don't feel bad. The first time I used one, I thought, "The Japanese sit on the floor, sleep on the floor...", so I ened up sitting on the damn thing the until someone told me how to use it properly. Then I realized that my knees dont bend that far...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I tried using one of these once... never again. Now when I'm in Japan and I need a dump when I'm out I'll only go in newly built restaurant toilets. Call it cultural snobbery if you like, but squatting over a thing like that just fills me with dread.

If it's a seemingly dirty seat you're worried about, buy some alcohol-based wet wipes. Simples.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

If it's a seemingly dirty seat you're worried about, buy some alcohol-based wet wipes. Simples.

And put toilet paper over the seat rim, heheh.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Waaaaayyyyy too much information...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Soon they'll be saying that 60% will think a toilet that without a washlet and music to play is broken.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Cleo, while you make the point of not knowing who was there before with the throne... I would rather hover over one of them than hover over a hole that is gross and dirty. People - men AND women - don't seem to be able to aim properly. The floors around these things are often disgusting. I will hold it rather than use one. I will over on the public thrones. I don't blame the kids for disliking these thing. Do any of the adults like them??

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Plenty of these in France and southern Europe (campsites, railway stations). Nothing wrong with them, unless you've been spoilt rotten by over-exposure to a lifestyle where everything is perfectly safe and sanitised, and can't bear the thought of coming into contact with a bit of reality.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

survey also reveals 100% of non-japanese also detest these holes in the ground

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Having worked in elementary schools in Japan, I know that the bigger fear for kids is the very low doors on the toilet cubicles, meaning that there's no privacy. They will usually wait until they get home or go during class - as long as the teacher will let them.

My personal experience of the 'washiki toilet' began with me accidentally pulling off a loose pipe as I lost my balance, which resulted in my little Eikaiwa school flooding... . I've heard stories of people missing the trough altogether, and a friend of mine once unintentionally deposited something in his back pocket. I'm not a fan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Never really minded those Japanese-style toilets. Sure it was hard work on the leg muscles, but I liked the fact that I never have to worry about touching my tush on a dirty Western toilet seat with urine on it. And trust me, in a public men's toilet, there is always urine on the seat since men pee standing up all the time, and are often too lazy to lift the seat up. It's sometimes a hassle to have to gather some toilet paper, wipe the previous person's urine and other stuff off of the toilet seat, put some more toilet paper on it, and then sit down on that. As for the smell, it's not much of a problem to just breathe through my mouth, rather than my nose.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The story seems to answer its own question by stating that 98.1% households now use only Western-style bowls. For a Western-style toilet trained kid, using those squat jobs is downright uncomfortable.

I tend to agree with the youngsters. Never did get the hang of using one of those squat jobs. Let's see ... how in the heck do you arrange the pants so that nothing goes haywire ... ??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have heard that there are ES kids that have literally gotten sick because they wouldn't use their school's old style toilets to take a dump. Many kids literally do not know how to use them properly.

Time to get rid of ALL of them I say!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It really sucks for the kid assigned to clean the toilets. NO JANITORS in Japanese schools the kids clean everything very badly.

Since I've worked school at all the Kanto Prefectures. I can safely say 74% of Elementary Schools have western style toilets.

No time to run to the end of the hall. I usually use the adults toilet at Elementary School but sometimes I got to go fast (NO TIME BETWEEN CLASSES) I use the kids toilets. Usually kids MISS the target all the time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

http://www.naturesplatform.com/health_benefits.html

Sadly modern ignorance is rife. Squatting is the the best way for you health, its the way we evolved to go over millions of years. sitting to go is a mere blip in the human timeline and its causes a host of problems - 'piles' for starters anyone? Humans are so far removed from nature now, most of us don't know how to go naturally, what a truly sad indictment of our species.

Seven Advantages of Squatting (from the linked site)

Makes elimination faster, easier and more complete. This helps prevent "fecal stagnation," a prime factor in colon cancer, appendicitis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming stretched and damaged.

Securely seals the ileocecal valve, between the colon and the small intestine. In the conventional sitting position, this valve is unsupported and often leaks during evacuation, contaminating the small intestine.

Relaxes the puborectalis muscle which normally chokes the rectum in order to maintain continence.

5.Uses the thighs to support the colon and prevent straining. Chronic straining on the toilet can cause hernias, diverticulosis, and pelvic organ prolapse.

A highly effective, non-invasive treatment for hemorrhoids, as shown by published clinical research.

For pregnant women, squatting avoids pressure on the uterus when using the toilet. Daily squatting helps prepare one for a more natural delivery.

how in the heck do you arrange the pants so that nothing goes haywire ... ??

before I came to japan I was told to remove one leg from your trousers, move the whole lot to one side and then squat. Slip on shoes makes this a lot easier, I can do it in a few seconds. If you have any balance and flexibilty, (sadly I have met many, inflexible, out of shape and overweight foreigners in my time in Japan - the very ones who hate squatting...) it should be easy to perform. People with knee issues and genuine orthopedic issues etc I can fully understand the dislike of the squatter however.

My school has modern CLEAN squat toilets in addition to sit down toilets, I always go for the the squat toilets. I care about my health - all aspects: nutrition, exercise sleep and this - minimize your risk of troubles later on down the line -squat - you'll build normal leg strength too.

Train stations can be nasty, (i wish station staff pride in their job/station extended to the bathroom) but at least no body parts are in contact with the seat, no dreaded "porcelain kiss" for the man parts either which Japan is shocking for - horribly un-ergonomically shallow shaped bowls - far too little "swing space" for blokes.

Though I do like washlets - the only positive benefit from sitting to go.

I don't often agree with Cleo, but she is on the money with this topic.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Cacharodon,

I think your info above are all true. The best way to clean the intestines is to step on the washlet and squat on it, that solves all the issues here. No more sitting on dirty washlets and you'll be healthy the same time,,haha.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Been squatting all my life. Hell, i even take the time to clean the seat of the Western toilet so i'm able to squat on it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is really funny is that every country I have been to that has had squat toilets call it a "that Nationalities Name" style toilet. And tells you how non-Nationalities of that squat toilet using country don't know how to use. Squat toilet National pride I guess.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

. When in Japan 2004, i used these toilets several times.

Interesting experience.

.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Back in the seventies, I heard of elderly Japanese who climbed up on top of western-style toilets to squat and then fell off, breaking limbs and hips, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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