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Japan's next restroom revolution? Phasing out squat toilets

31 Comments
By Sakura Murakami

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31 Comments
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Squat toilets are better for your health as they promote a better flow.

It’s true.

8 ( +19 / -11 )

If one can get that low?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Squat toilets are better for your health as they promote a better flow.

It’s true.

Yeah but I felt like I was trying to use the three seashells when I ran into one the first time...

9 ( +12 / -3 )

@Burning Bush - Squat toilets are better for your health as they promote a better flow.

This is not actually true for all people. If you are a 70 kilo weed it is easy, but if you are 130 kilos plus it is damn near impossible and can cause health issues like bowel obstructions. Then, consider injuries from actually falling over in the can trying to squat or get up with no hand rails.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Japan's next restroom revolution? Phasing out squat toilets

Not only that, they should install washlets in public areas everywhere. People who come to Japan will use them, buy them and take them back. Their use is the best marketing strategy.

Yeah but I felt like I was trying to use the three seashells when I ran into one the first time...

HAHAHAHA! brilliant!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Install washlets and hand cleaner (soap) dispensers in all lavatories. Much more effective than those useless paper masks. Good to see the benjo-style squatters on the way out, although I wonder if kimono-wearers will mourn their demise.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I agree that the squat position is much better for smooth bowel movements, which is why I bought myself a Squatty Potty. The #1 way to #2. Thus I have the best of both worlds.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Both my wife and I can no longer use squat toilets. Have a very modern washlet toilet with other features is like so good and once experienced, no going back. We both use the disabled toilet when available.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I've always wondered: if a dude has to go pee, are you supposed to stand and go in the squatter, or squat like you're going poo while you are just peeing.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

f a dude has to go pee, are you supposed to stand and go in the squatter, or squat like you're going poo while you are just peeing.

Use the urinal. But if you feel you might do both, then do what you would do on a western toilet.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

DisillusionedToday  08:11 am JST

This is not actually true for all people. If you are a 70 kilo weed it is easy, but if you are 130 kilos plus it is damn near impossible and can cause health issues like bowel obstructions. Then, consider injuries from actually falling over in the can trying to squat or get up with no hand rails.

Calling 70kg people 'weeds' (at their actual correct BMI) is like a badge of honour nowadays. They can squat, not have any 'bowel obstructions', fall over and get up easily without injuring themselves of needing hand rails... it's almost as if disparaging them for their 'low' weight is a blessing.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

My wife has seen elderly Japanese women queuing for the Western-style toilets rather than use the squat ones in public facilities in Japan. But you don't have to be elderly, or even middle-aged to have difficulty with the squats - just try having a knee injury or a hip problem.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The squat toilets often seem to indicate a need for accuracy training. There's one in a station near me which is very often a Jackson Pollock mural of missed attempts.

It's hard to believe these things aren't a vector of disease, particularly when you combine the debris with an absence of soap dispensers for post splatter clean-up.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

On the theme of Olympics and internationalization, squat toilets are harder for non-Asians with longer thigh bones to use. You may have to raise your heels, turn your feet outward, or grab something to avoid falling over backwards. Body shape is a known issue for squat toilets and squatting the exercise.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

First time I had a long bout on the squaty toilet I left feeling like I had Eric Heiden thighs. Just fine for the young a physically fit but hellish for everyone else. I never took to the washlets. Not into water sports.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Squat toilets are the most disgusting uncomfortable outdated, failed trial ever in the history of toilets!, it's like using paper instead of curtains. Two sticks instead of a tool called a "folk". And now we have toilets that are cutting edge....music, heat control, a squirter, high, medium, low. From a bucket to this. Squat toilets are history, take a seat enjoy the ride.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Squat toilets are not unique to Japan or other Asian countries. I came across some in the countryside in Greece, where the locals called them "Turkish toilets".

I shudder when confronted by any squat toilet but I understand that they are not any more or less "disgusting" than seat toilets, and the issue is simply whether has exposure and experience with them. If you don't they are indeed dreadful.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Washlets are my favorite.

But I'll take a squat toilet over a western toilet, unless the squat toilet is just too gross. But I prefer not having to touch the toilet.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They didn't bother me in my younger days, but I'd rather not aggravate my aches and pains with the gymnastics involved to reach maximum poop.

Washlets are the next level. Always miss them when I'm out of the country.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Really?  So may people defending squat toilets?

Been a while since I saw one (thank goodness).  Toto obviously have a vested interest in getting washlets as widely used as possible, but they are great.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Can't read the newspaper on a squat toilet = fail.

For me, the squat toilet experience is incomplete without the inclusion of Izal toilet paper. Stiff and dependable, one side is Teflon coated, the other resembles 100-grit sandpaper. Toilet usage throughput has never been faster.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

. . . would like to see the tennis court size squat less toilet . . .  ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Squat toilets were very common in France which where I first saw them. Except on French trains when the loo was a hole in the floor. Some people I know use the western toilet like a squat and life the lid and squat with their feet on the bowl.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There is a god!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Wakarimaen

Really? So may people defending squat toilets?

You said it !!! I thought this would be something that everyone could agree on. If you want to welcome the world (for the Olympics etc.) replace as many of the squat toilets as you can, asap. I'm not in my twilight years just yet, nor hugely overweight, but those things are horrid. They would be absolutely impossible for "large, XL", no-longer-young tourists to negotiate.

As for the "squat toilets are good for the flow" theory, that is complete garbage. Eat more fruit and vegetables if you're having flow issues.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I like them because I have no problem squatting, and I don't like touching the toilet. I do also find it's a natural position for the flow as it were.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Dr Maybe

In the beginning I was a non-squatter and couldn’t actually squat. But after a few incidents where the squatter was the only option, and therefore fiddling with my squatting position to make it more comfortable, I became a convert. Hitting the target is easy once you get your positioning right. Like most things I guess, practice makes perfect, and technique is paramount.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of course, we squatted when we went camping out in the wilderness. What else could we do? Still, seeing one in Eastern Europe was a surprise. I didn't think anyone still used them.

Hard to imagine that only 20% of Tokyo was serviced by sewers back in the 1960s. I never would have guessed that.

Went to stay with my Grandparents in Europe a long time ago. They still had an outdoor toilet, but they had modernized it so that it had a tile floor, a flush toilet, and an electric light. Eventually Uncle built a toilet indoors.

As a youngster our area was hit by a bad earthquake. Among other things, we lost the use of the toilet, so we dug a hole in the barn. I guess one could say that we had a squat toilet at that time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@sourpuss

Each to their own. I've given you a "+" for that, though.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I like them because I have no problem squatting, and I don't like touching the toilet. I do also find it's a natural position for the flow as it were.

Oh, I don't know. I'm not the kind of person who likes to poke his nose into other peoples' business.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm from the UK where 'Western' toilets are the norm but squat toilets aren't a problem for me. I think a lot of the reluctance to use one is psychological as they have been shown to be better for you (obviously barring any physical constraints).

I'm also not against installing 'Western-style' ones, but all the stalls need alcohol spray in there or there's no point as squatting ones are going to be more hygienic

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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