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. Beyond that it’s not much different than camping or surviving a plane crash in the mountains.
Thankfully some special interest groups are working towards wiping this scourge from the nation, and they’re starting with the children.
The 2012 Elementary School Student’s Toilet Habits Survey was conducted by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical which 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.