July 11, 2020

What is an explanation of toilet hygiene in Japan?

Are you asking if people wash their hands after going to the loo? If so, the answer is that most, but not all, people do.

If, on the other hand, you are asking about Japanese toilets, then the story becomes a bit more complicated. The TLDR would be: if you build it they will buy it.

Back in the day, the standard toilet in Japan was something like this.

You might be wondering, ‘Where’s the flush?’ Sorry, there isn’t one. It is actually sort of gross. You may want to skip down a bit if you are squeamish.

Start of Gross –
I once lived in a house where the toilet was not of the flush variety. There was just a large concrete box down below to catch the offerings. The Australians will sometimes call the toilet a dunny or bog. We used the latter term. In the winter, it wasn’t so bad. It was during the hot summer months that our bog would become, shall we say, ripe. Told you it would be gross … it gets worse.

Because we were not connected to the city sewer system, the concrete box would gradually fill. You knew it was time to call the pump truck when you started to get return on your offerings. Yup, that would be drop and splash. If you were talented you could drop and then rise up a bit to avoid collateral damage. Told you it would be gross … want more?

We would on occasion have parties where guests would over imbibe a tad. I remember one time when a reveler, who had a bit too much to drink, announced that he was going to go for a quick ‘spit’ and come back and continue his assault on the tequila. This guy was famous in our circle for being able to go out for a little ‘spit’ and coming back refreshed and ready to continue his binge drinking.

So, dude goes to the bog, and we could hear him exclaim, ‘Oh my god!’, this was followed by several minutes of full on yorking, mixed with curses and howls of rage. He came back pale, eyes streaming tears, knees shaking, splashed with upchuck. He did not continue his assault, but meekly lay down in the corner. Score – Bog 1, Dude 0.

It was in this bog that I honed my superpower. I’ll put a link at the end so you can take the test.
End of Gross –

These types of toilets are still to be found, but are becoming more rare. About the only time you find these are in camp grounds.

Still to be found, but also becoming rarer, is the flush version
of the above.

If you run across one of these in your travels across the archipelago, do not sit. These are meant to squat over. That rounded area that is sticking up is the blast shield. You should face the blast shield. And PLEASE make sure you are well enough forward so that you don’t mess over the back edge. Oops, did I put the End of Gross message too early? Sorry.

The next step up in toiletry is the standard toilet that most people are familiar with.

In Japan, the older versions of these and most of the versions of the watered squat toilets have two optionsfor flushing; big or small. I will assume that you understand the difference.

Along about 20 years ago, there began a rise in the manufacture and sales of high end Japanese toilets. It began with heated toilet seats. I remember the first time I sat on a heated seat in the dead of winter – Ahh, heavenly.

Not satisfied with heated seats, the consumer demanded more and better from their dunnies. These days, there are toilets that will, after you sit and finish your business, take care of everything. Totally hands free. You don’t even have to flush.

[Ready for beam up, Scotty]

My best friend has a toilet that will do all for him. He urges me to try it, but I am still too manly to go for the rinse and blow dry. Heck, it was just recently that I graduated from leaves to toilet paper.

You will often see this done with the TP. Pretty nice huh? Makes it easy to grab.

Then there’s this:

I don’t know. I don’t want to know.

Toilet superpower test by Sed Chapman, lives in Japan