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Squat toilets’ popularity fading as parents call for them to be abolished in Japanese schools

76 Comments
By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

As you can infer from its lengthy name, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology has its fingers in a lot of different pies. It turns out that one of those pies is school toilets (apologies for the disgusting metaphor).

The governmental organization, which also goes by the much more compact name MEXT (apparently someone decided that “X” was a good enough abbreviation for culture, sports, and science) recently conducted a nationwide study of the bathroom facilities at elementary and middle schools across Japan. The results of the investigation, which encompassed places of pooping at some 29,000 places of education, were made public on November 10, which is also Toilet Day in Japan.

The compiled statistics showed a total of roughly 1.4 million toilets installed in the schools, with the majority, 56.7 percent being Japanese-style squat toilets. The survey tallied approximately 790,000 Japanese-style toilets versus about 610,000 Western-style commodes (i.e. ones with a seat to sit on when making solid waste deposits).

In contrast, the majority of Japanese homes are now outfitted with Western-style toilets. Squat toilets are unlikely to be found in recently built housing, as they’re increasingly being seen as an unattractive fixture for regular deuce-dropping sessions. Japanese toilets are also becoming less common options in public restrooms, as bathroom stalls in newer rail stations, entertainment complexes, office towers, and other facilities are predominantly Western-style, with often only a single token squat toilet for old-school holdouts.

So in light of the MEXT report, some Japanese citizens are calling for schools to get rid of their Japanese-style toilets and replace them with Western ones. There’s definitely a certain logic to the stance, since if children aren’t accustomed to using a squat toilet at home, having to use one at school is going to present a challenge, since there really is a bit of a knack to skillfully using a Japanese-style toilet. Some people have also begun questioning why schools make children experience an inconvenience that most Japanese adults, through the prevalence of Western-style toilets outside of school settings, don’t have to put up with anymore.

However, the NPO Japan Toilet Labo, also known as the Japan Toilet Research Laboratory, cautions against schools getting rid of all their squat toilets. While they’ve become very uncommon in Japanese homes, some older or lower-income houses do still have Japanese-style toilets, and pupils who’re accustomed to them may feel uncomfortable using a Western-style toilet, which requires sitting on the same toilet seat that other users do.

Nevertheless, the MEXT study found that 85.2% of the municipalities polled said they plan to increase the number of Western-style toilets at their schools in the future, with roughly half of that group looking to make more than 90% of their toilets Western-style.

Moreover, it’s not just kids’ toilet preferences that are being taken into consideration as part of the debate. School facilities, including gymnasiums, are often used as shelters following natural disasters in Japan. Following a series of powerful earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture earlier this year, many of those unable to return home were temporarily housed in elementary and middle schools. Observers noticed that there were often long lines to use Western-style toilets, even as the Japanese-style stalls were empty. That gives schools one more impetus to increase their number of Western-style toilets, to make sure that both bathroom lines and digestive tracts keep flowing smoothly.

Source: J-Cast News via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Japan has established itself as King of the Thrones【Video】 -- Everything you think you know about your washlet toilet is wrong -- Japanese women share 10 reasons why they take so (so, so) long in the bathroom

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76 Comments
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(apologies for the disgusting metaphor).

Why apologize for stating the obvious?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

pupils who’re accustomed to them may feel uncomfortable using a Western-style toilet,

Can people please stop using this tired, worn out, yet oh so easy excuse? I've heard it a thousand times for a thousand different reasons, always used as a way to basically say "We don't want to change."

I don't care if a pupil comes from the poorest hovel in town to the highest, richest family. They have used and by this time are as comfortable with a Western style toilet as a squat toilet. In fact, they're probably more comfortable, since as mentioned, every restaurant, train station, conbini, and even most public parks now have Western style toilets.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

In my years in Japan, I've only ever used this type twice, in "emergencies"

6 ( +12 / -6 )

J-style toilets would be barely tolerable if you only entered them naked. If you have any clothes on at all they are in danger of getting spoiled or being a hindrance. And many men seem to have as poor an aim in squat toilets as they do in stand-up urinals.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

requires sitting on the same toilet seat that other users do.

There's a marvelous way of preventing this feeling. It's called, cleaning! Something that seems to escape the Japanese public schools.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

They have used and by this time are as comfortable with a Western style toilet as a squat toilet. In fact, they're probably more comfortable, since as mentioned, every restaurant, train station, conbini, and even most public parks now have Western style toilets.

Not to mention that I have yet to come across a squat toilet that is heated, has a massage function, bidet function, and dryer as well.

There is however a bigger problem and it has NOTHING to do with the type of toilet that the schools have installed, and is conveniently not being talked about. The problem is that there is an ever increasing number of Japanese elementary school BOYS that literally makes themselves sick, because they can not use a toilet outside of their home, to take a crap. They literally hold on, until they get home, some have accidents, and there are issues of bullying associated with this as well.

MEXT, is deflecting the underlying issue here by making it seem as part of the problem is with the toilets themselves.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

'Toilet Day'???? Only in Japan! I could tell stories about the western women I've escorted on tours around Japan who have been terribly 'inconvenienced', to put it mildly, by squat toilets at temples, parks and even airports, but I'd best leave that to the imagination. They're a disgusting blight on an otherwise 'enlightened' society. And I use the term 'enlightened' with tongue in cheek, what with all I read about the societal problems of my second-favorite country on earth.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

"There is however a bigger problem and it has NOTHING to do with the type of toilet that the schools have installed, and is conveniently not being talked about. The problem is that there is an ever increasing number of Japanese elementary school BOYS that literally makes themselves sick, because they can not use a toilet outside of their home, to take a crap. They literally hold on, until they get home, some have accidents, and there are issues of bullying associated with this as well.

MEXT, is deflecting the underlying issue here by making it seem as part of the problem is with the toilets themselves."

Very well said Yubaru.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

why schools make children experience an inconvenience that most Japanese adults… don’t have to put up with anymore.

Like be driven to school instead of walking? Like sitting in a cold room with one heater near the teacher? Like being forced to wear a uniform?

Benefits of the squat toilet include the bare hindquarters not touching anything; the daily (hopefully) exercise of bending your knees, hips, etc; the pressure on the lower body as you bend might (might, I say) encourage fecal evacuation.

Cons include how disgustingly dirty some of them can be. Nothing like finding fecal matter on the edge or urine near the flush handle; anyone with legs - knees, hips, back - problems or carrying a baby can't use them.

If, however, in an earthquake emergency Japanese people are refusing or reluctant to use one, I guess their days are limited.

Personally, if I had to use a toilet and the squat one was free while the western one had a long line, I'd head for the squat one. I think the people in Kumamoto were avoiding the squat one not out of some preference but I suspect the squat one was filthy.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

11-10 translates to "i-to-ii-re", Coming up 11-22 or "ii-fu-fu" or "Good Couple Day?"...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

DisillusionedNov. 16, 2016 - 07:23AM JST "requires sitting on the same toilet seat that other users do." There's a marvelous way of preventing this feeling. It's called, cleaning! Something that seems to escape the Japanese >public schools.

You've obviously never been to a Japanese public school. They even make the students do the cleaning, along with other rooms, in some places. Walk into a McDonalds anywhere in the world and then into one in Japan to appreciate the near fixation Japanese have on cleanliness.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Squat toilets are actually better for you than sitting toilets: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/06/01/benefits-squats.aspx

That said I prefer a sitting toilet myself. But I've used squat toilets a lot. If you're able to squat, they're not so bad, and not actually having to really touch anything is nice.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

11/10 is a terrible date for national toilet day, it doesn't even have a number two in it !

7 ( +8 / -1 )

there is an ever increasing number of Japanese elementary school BOYS that literally makes themselves sick, because they can not use a toilet outside of their home, to take a crap.

And just where did you get this little tidbit of information?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I like them both.Squat toilets are good when you are ready to let loose. Sitting toilets are better when you can take your time.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Squatting to defecate is much better for you, health-wise - the position encourages smooth passage. For this reason I prefer squatting.

I have found that public toilets are, overall, much cleaner and better kitted out than they were five-ten-twenty years ago, even park and beach loos are cleaner, and have paper. not all, but many. Keep the squat loos, I say. Or get a squatty potty!

http://www.squattypotty.com/

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Squatting to defecate is much better for you, health-wise - the position encourages smooth passage. For this reason I prefer squatting.

Evidence of this in documented studies please?

I can assure you I have no issues whatsoever with "smooth passage" as you so eloquently put it regardless of facility used.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Evidence of this in documented studies please?

Here's a study, with a significant number of attached references: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1024180319005

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I guess Im in the minority. I always choose the squat toilets when I have a choice. Even when I have to use a western toilet, I hover over it to do my duty. No way Im touching that thing. At home, I prefer to sit down.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

You've obviously never been to a Japanese public school.

Actually, most of us have probably been to many. I've watched as I go into a toilet 5 minutes after the music plays that signifies the end of cleaning time, only to find toilet paper, urine, and fecal matter on and around the toilets.

I've gone into toilets and found boys literally standing around doing nothing but leaning against the walls and joking, confident in the fact that since sensei is busy down the hall, in the classroom, wherever, that they won't be called on their lack of actual cleaning.

I've gone into toilets where the toilets are disgusting messes, but the sinks are spotless, since you can clean a sink with a simple cloth wipe while actually cleaning a toilet requires both brushes that the school doesn't have, but the children refuse to get themselves near the mess, so they let it sit.

The widely pushed image of all Japanese schools being these paragons of cleanliness because of "soji-no-jikan" is as erroneous as a lot of the other overly simplistic images of Japan, both positive and negative, pushed around the world.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Squat toilets are actually better for you than sitting toilets

This has been debunked. Squatting is not healthy for the intestines.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Think I've used them maybe 5 times in 18 years, and each time because there was absolutely no other choice.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This has been debunked. Squatting is not healthy for the intestines.

Where has it been debunked?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Good Bad sensei258NOV. 16, 2016 - 08:27AM JST there is an ever increasing number of Japanese elementary school BOYS that literally makes themselves sick, because they can not use a toilet outside of their home, to take a crap.

And just where did you get this little tidbit of information?

I've encountered it too ... the first time probably 15 or more years ago.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

David Varnes: ... I've gone into toilets and found boys literally standing around doing nothing but leaning against the walls and joking, confident in the fact that since sensei is busy down the hall, in the classroom, wherever, that they won't be called on their lack of actual cleaning. ...

Sounds like the school administrations are failing to delegate cleanliness inspections and student training. And should buy lots of long handled brushes.

Do they get advance warning of governmental inspections? Nursing homes in some states in the USA do, occasioning hectic pre-inspection attention to details left scant other times of the year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not only in Japan. There is also a World Toilet Day, which this year falls on Nov 19.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There's one great advantage squats have over seats (s'n's): they cut down on the time people spend over the pot. Who hasn't waited in desperation while a stall occupant was enjoying his manga while on a throne?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I just spent some time fact checking whether squat toilets really are better or not. This was probably the most comprehensive counter argument: https://skeptoid.com/blog/2015/09/26/squatty-potty/, however it was more a counter argument against the squatty potty than against squatting in general. It did say this:

The first is a Japanese study, “The Influence of Body Position on Defecation in Humans.” It is a small-scale, six-person, uncontrolled study. Sure, I buy it as research, but it is a index study. It limits include tiny non-heterogenous (one male, five female) cohort, with no controls and without blinding. Interestingly, full squat is considered the best, which is not the Squatty Potty position. It doesn’t support the claim that Squatty Potty’s squat is better than a full squat.

The next study has my favorite title of the the group: “Impact of Ethnic Habits on Defecographic Measurements.” (As an aside, I think I need to add “defecographic measurements,” which means “poop X-ray study,” to my medical lexicon… but I digress.) This was a small study that used barium enemas and radiography to evaluate the anorectic opening in defecation.Imaging revealed that the rectal opening was measurable larger in a squatting position. But this study has two major issues. If you use a population that squats to move their bowels and then place them on a first-world toilet bowl, as was done here, you are disrupting their accustomed maneuver. You would need a control group of Europeans to do the same tests to realistically support superior evacuation. Plus moving your bowels is an activity that has deep social and cultural taboos associated with it. Making major changes may cause the participants to rush or change their normal structure. Imaging revealed that the rectal opening was measurable larger in a squatting position. Any of these factors can have a major impact upon on bowel evacuation.

The third research paper posted was “Comparison of Straining During Defecation in Three Positions.” It’s a larger study than the first, but it’s still very small. Researchers used a subjective questionnaire to have subjects rate straining. The findings were similar to the other studies: full squat results in the lowest straining.

Overall the research is flawed and not very compelling. It does have the upside of replications of results. Interestingly, the results do not support the website’s assertion that the Squatty Potty is superior to squatting fully. So I’m not really sure why the website lists this research as scientific evidence for their modified toilet stool.

So it doesn't debunk the idea that squatting is better, but it does call into question studies that claim it is.

I couldn't find anything that said sitting is better than squatting, or anything that specifically debunked the idea that squatting is better.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The only thing worse than committing a really nasty, desperate crime in a squat toilet, is committing it in your own pants.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Turkish" toilets (that is what they are), are not losing popularity, as they were never popular to begin with. They are widely used because they are cheaper, simpler, and easier to clean. On the bad side, when a drunk salaryman tosses up his yak-tori after half a dozen beers, these toilets are difficult targets to hit.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Thank you, Strangerland, for the research. I shall give that a good old read when I have the time - not in the toilet, I won't have time then, 'cos with my squatty potty I'm in and out in the wink of an eye. smirks

I had never assumed that the squatty pot was better than actual squatting, but it certainly (anecdotally) is better - ie more effective, than sitting.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oh squat toilets ! I remember walking into one near the Hirakata city office 22 years ago when I first came to Japan and it looked like a bomb had exploded. It was up the walls and over the floor- from that day, Ive only used them in an emergency.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Pretty up squat toilets as they're easier to clean and use - no butt contact and best angle expell

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Squat toilets are not unique to Japan. I have seen then in Turkey and Greece in my younger days. No doubt they are fading out, or already have there. Japan needs to replace them all before 2020.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Logic tells me squatting is probably more natural; I doubt humans evolved to use seated toilets... much more likely that early homonids squatted to do their business. Having said that i know many people who simply cant squat due to bad knees/balance, and for me the fact that the deuce is just sitting there right under you stenching up the place means i will choose the seated toilet if i have a choice.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

a squat toilet is a sure sign of a Showa Era hellhole ...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Where has it been debunked?

TV. Can't remember which show it was. Anyway there are probably both pro's and cons to either toilet so I'm not going into discussion. Either group will have something to say. Anyway I avoid them like the plague. Give me the royal western style toilet with seat warmer.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Anyway there are probably both pro's and cons to either toilet

There probably are. But the studies, as well as human anatomy, seem to point at squat toilets being better overall.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Everytime I used the "japanese toilet" (some 4 times?) I always squatted in the opposite position. A bit disgusting to squat facing your own dung imho

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I found that sitting on those squatters was easy, but usually a bit too low.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To squat or not to squat!?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps this is an alternative? (Don't watch if you like soft-served ice cream.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbYWhdLO43Q

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Judging by the comments here, maybe it is a good idea to have squat toilets in school as it familiarizes the students with them and overcomes any qualms they may have about using them.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Good for thigh muscles too, squatting is.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"That said I prefer a sitting toilet myself. But I've used squat toilets a lot. If you're able to squat, they're not so bad, and not actually having to really touch anything is nice."

Agree with stranger. Give me a filthy squat toilet over a smelly, disgusting western one any day of the week in 3rd world countries outback.

As an aside the french call squat toilets 'turkish toilets', why, i have no idea.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

While traveling in Eastern Europe, I was surprised to find places where the only thing available was a hole in the floor. A squat toilet would have been better. Even the Romans, at Ephesus, had sit-down toilets.

On a different subject, I was surprised to find out the bronze-age Minoans had hot and cold running water in some of their homes, where naturally occurring hot water was available. Excavations at Akrotiri since the 1960s found homes so equipped, buried and preserved in volcanic ash.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

personally, my opinion is that they should do away with EVERY squat toilet in public places and replace them ALL with washlets.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Aly: Those wash-lets are fine for your personal home, but not in public. Things that get sprayed on fall with gravity and land on the metal rod with the spray. Next person that uses it gets stuff from the person(s) before sprayed on their bottom. Yuckers.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Just a personal observation, but I reckon squat toilets smell more when someone does a number two. Longer exposure to air perhaps.

As for the "won't do a poo at school because of squat toilets", my ex told me once that anyone who did a poo at school would thereafter earn the nickname "unko-man", so everyone in her class would avoid it. Changing the type of toilet will not solve this problem, unless my "western toilets smell less" theory is true and the incriminating smell does not linger as long.

I have problems doing a low squat with my trousers down but not touching the floor, so yeah, I avoid them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

these are so weird to use. feels like someone looking up my rear and i am dumping on the street or something

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As for the headline, I doubt if they ever enjoyed much popularity. I think they do help to keep elderly Japanese people agile, though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It wasn't so long ago that the Shinkansen western-style toilets had pictograms showing people how to use them.

I think western-style toilets are favoured by the outcasts who like to eat their lunches in there. It's not so easy to eat your benjo bento standing up, trying not avoid treading in the hole of the French/Japanese-style toilet.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They still have earth closets up in Kibune in northern Kyoto. I once overheard a couple of American tourists complaining about the lack of paper in the khazi. Wusses. What's wrong with grass anyway?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

" It turns out that one of those pies is school toilets (apologies for the disgusting metaphor)."

I cannot excuse that one, lol.

Tbe Japanese squat "toilet" is without a doubt the worst Japanese invention.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

And just where did you get this little tidbit of information? I've encountered it too ... the first time probably 15 or more years ago.

I've actually known about it for years, and it has been an issue for numerous BOE's and PTA's as well. I know of a few young boys who were hospitalized for problems related to the issue. It's getting worse from what I have been led to believe, but schools do little to change attitudes about this totally normal bodily function.

There is a book, I used to read with my kids, "Everybody Poops" which would be appropriate here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tbe Japanese squat "toilet" is without a doubt the worst Japanese invention.

I don't know. Have you been to these rural outhouses on a windy day? It sounds like a jug band.

Back as a kid in school we had a real proper outhouse. The 'urinal' was a painted black wall with blue cubes of disinfectant strategically placed in an overflowing gutter. The can itself had saloon doors that let the cold winter wind freeze your jacksie in no time at all. Urine froze in an arc, and any solid matter shattered like glass on contact with the bowl. Suspended from the overhead cistern was a long chain, which, as kids we would swing on like Tarzan while we 'bog washed' the snotty kids we didn't like. Then there was the Izal paper: half Teflon, half coarse grain sand paper which either smeared or sanded according to preference.

Kids these days never had it so good!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

everywhere you go, you see women and men squatting on the streets while they wait for something, or for making a lengthy phone call, or...

japanese anatomy allows for staying in that position (squat) for very long time. if i try to squat, i most of the time loose balance and almost fall. if i finally manage it, after 1 min i get horrible cramps.

on the other hand, japan is super-champion-king of the toilette that warms your buttocks and washes you and entertains you with music while you're at it, and finally air-dries you. and yet in all public places you have a squatter-lover-toilette and a high-tech rocket-science toilette.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Many years ago when I was growing up we only had squat toilets. The electric toilets with the special wash facilities did not exist at the time. During my student years when I went to the UK to study at university I was pleasantly surprised by the comfort of the western toilets which are now very common today in Japan. Although I have become accustomed to the western toilet I still use the Japanese squat toilet when necessary.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've used a squat toilet once and it was a nightmare. I have a dodgy knee so squatting is very painful... and for me not a natural posture, and the older I get the less likely I am to be able to adopt a squatting posture without holding onto something. There's nothing like losing your balance and putting your hand out only to have it slip on something unpleasant and you end up IN the loo. That's why when I'm in Japan I never eat anything before I go out or while out unless I know there are western style toilets where I'm going. Not repeating that nightmare again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Washlets are the greatest inventions ever.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At least in Japan, one can mostly do number two with dignity. Doors and walls from floor to tight on the ceiling. America is horrible in public toilets. Everyone can see your shoes, panties and skirts, and hear you blazing saddles away.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

At least in Japan, one can mostly do number two with dignity. Doors and walls from floor to tight on the ceiling. America is horrible in public toilets. Everyone can see your shoes, panties and skirts, and hear you blazing saddles away.

I see someone's been watching too many stupid propaganda videos. You know perfectly well that this isn't true, stalls are not floor to ceiling with tight seals, etc. Nor are all American public toilets as bad as the videos make them out to be.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is a bad idea. The video industry is going to suffer badly.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

David: I totally disagree, but understand that you have never probably been in America due to the comment and most definitely do not understand the dignity involved in using clean and silent stalls in Japan.

Have never seen a video on toilets in Japan. It is not something I ever thought about searching for on the net.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I always use squat toilets to pee because I don't want to sit where others have sat, so because I don't have to lay down a seat cover with tp it's faster. One thing I will say is having to use a squat toilet when you're heavily pregnant because there's no other choice in a park or at a campsite is utterly, utterly uncomfortable:(

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Regular toilets healthy enough for me; never had a problem from it, lol

Difference must be the unique Japanese rectal muscles

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Difference must be the unique Japanese rectal muscles

Oh hell, what's next......

EVERYONE POOPS! No one is special.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A tragedy. One of the truly magnificent machines to fully facilitate the movement.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

claiming some people are more accustomed to a squat toilet isn't a mere "excuse", some people really are so accustomed to them that they do not know how to use a western toilet properly. i think anyone who has spent a good amount of time around southeast asia would have noticed shoe prints on western style toilet seats at some point. I've seen this in Japan too and in places where I'm pretty sure they didn't come from Asian tourists. In Japan it's probably mostly the elderly doing it, but as they mentioned, kids from poor areas living in old, low-income housing have a much higher chance of having one of these at home.

i do support increasing the number of western style toilets dramatically though because on the flip side, some people clearly do not know how to use old-school squat toilets and end up getting pee, poop, and even period blood (yep, have seen this is the old guesthouse I used to live in where the toilets were shared and unisex) all over not just the place for your feet but also the surrounding floors. it's not hard to learn to use those toilets and even less hard to learn common decency to clean up after yourself, but, pardon my pun, it seems that a lot of people just don't give a sh*t.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Dick, some western style toilets in department stores and at Narita have signs inside the cubicles asking people not to stand on the seat... I actually thought it was silly until you pointed out seeing footprints.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

David: I totally disagree, but understand that you have never probably been in America due to the comment and most definitely do not understand the dignity involved in using clean and silent stalls in Japan.

US Citizen, actually. Try harder, try again.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Give me a nice clean western toilet adorned with a nice heated full featured washlet.

It doesn't get better than that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Aly: Those wash-lets are fine for your personal home, but not in public. Things that get sprayed on fall with gravity and land on the metal rod with the spray. Next person that uses it gets stuff from the person(s) before sprayed on their bottom. Yuckers.

Actually, that's only in the third world. The japanese washlet's spray nozzel is retractable, therefore perfectly hygenic. Washlets for all, I say! Let them use washlets!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thunderbird2 at Nov. 16, 2016 - 10:43PM JST Dick, some western style toilets in department stores and at Narita have signs inside the cubicles asking people not to stand on the seat... I actually thought it was silly until you pointed out seeing footprints. ........................................................................................................... I saw the same sort of instructions in the stall outside the Wordsworth cottage in Grasmere this summer. Took a photo of it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Agh, this old chestnut. I know I have written about this multiple times before.....I searched my comments and found the post it was in an article titled

https://www.japantoday.com/category/opinions/view/japanese-style-toilets-can-be-challenge-for-visitors#comment_1606046

my comments were a cut and paste of a previous story where I commented on the pros of squatting.

Here we go! Third time to post my thought on squatting! ..............Sadly modern ignorance is rife. Squatting is the the best way for you health, it's 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 this linked site) http://www.naturesplatform.com/health_benefits.html Makes elimination faster, easier and more complete. This helps prevent "fecal stagnation," a prime factor in colon cancer,appendicitis and inflammatory bowel disease. 2.Protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming stretched and damaged. 3.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. 4.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. 6.A highly effective, non-invasive treatment for hemorrhoids, as shown by published clinical research. 7.For pregnant women, squatting avoids pressure on the uterus when using the toilet. Daily squatting helps prepare one for a more natural delivery.

Someone asked: "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 flexibility, (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 squat toilets. I care about my health - all aspects: nutrition, exercise sleep and this - minimise 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.

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Squatting is more natural for defecation, but in the modern era it was no place, really. Have you ever gone into one of those squatters with a lot of clothing on? You're not just in danger of literally soiling yourself, but you have to keep all your clothes from touching the porcelain and the floor around it, since that may well be covered in one spray or another.

OssanAmerica: "Walk into a McDonalds anywhere in the world and then into one in Japan to appreciate the near fixation Japanese have on cleanliness."

Hogwash. I've only ever seen dirtier floors in truck stops than I do at even some of the nicer places in Japan -- in the men's room, anyway. People here honestly don't seem to know where the urinals are, and as for kids cleaning at school, more BS; it's called "play time" and "who can hit each other with brooms".

And as to the morons quoted in the article as saying people would be "uncomfortable with Western-style toilets" I want them to answer what kind of toilets they have in their homes, and what they prefer to use personally. I guarantee you'll never see a bakugai rush to Toto to buy Japanese squatters. The economy of Japan was literally boosted this year thanks to people coming and buying Japanese washlets -- which DON'T sit atop squatters.

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