There are certain topics that although you may be interested in, one just doesn’t bring up in polite company, the least of which being the regularity of a country’s bowel movements. But luckily our poop-curious friends over at Glico (as in the major Japanese snack company) recently completed a survey about constipation that gives us a very personal look at the health of Japan’s number two habits. The aptly named “Lifestyle and Constipation” survey has revealed which Japanese prefectures are keeping things downstairs regular and which ones are all clogged up.
Oct 16, 2014
Asia is full of wonderful travel destinations. With a mix of rich history and rapid development, it’s far from a boring place to visit. However, the burning question on any traveler’s mind has got to be “Where can I see the greatest toilets of Asia?”
Well, that’s a subjective title but we’d like to submit a shopping center in Thailand’s capital Bangkok as a contender. The huge complex is called Terminal 21 and boasts over six floors of shops and eateries. There’s a lot of fun to be had here but the main attraction has got to be the internationally themed restrooms.
There are a number of little niceties and services that make Japan a very comfortable place to live. Personally, my favorite has always been the folded toilet paper ends that can often be found in public restroom stalls everywhere. I don’t encounter them especially often, but when I do it brightens my day just like having a robin land on my window sill.
However, you can’t experience such joy without leaving yourself vulnerable to extreme disappointment as well. A prank has recently emerged in Japan which, although seemingly mundane and simple, completely shatters this sense of pleasure and leaves the victim a desolate shell of a person, just like having a robin land on your window sill and start projectile vomiting.
Jul 28, 2014
How far would you go to save your cell phone?
In something out of a bizarre nightmare that the parent of a three-year-old learning to potty train might have, a Chinese woman who dropped her phone into a cesspool lost not only an electronic gadget, but her husband and mother-in-law as well. More details on this tragedy after the jump.
Like the aroma of fresh-baked bread or the sweet fragrance of a flower shop, the stench of a toilet can be just as memorable, albeit not in as nice a way.
Despite Japan’s reputation for high-tech toilets and Washlets that do everything except brush your teeth (thank God), a surprising number of households in Japan still have the old-style “pit toilets.” These toilets have a porcelain bowl, but no running water to flush in or out. You just squat over the hole and drop your goods into a cement pit waiting at the bottom. It’s basically an in-house outhouse.
Almost all the houses are this style on the islands in the Seto Inland Sea as well as many dwellings in Japan’s countryside. Our toilet reporter takes an in-depth look at how these pit toilet systems work. We bet you’re just dying to know!
Jun 11, 2014
So, you’re at a party and having a great time. The girl/guy you’ve had a crush on since you walked in seems to be really into you, the drinks are flowing, and the host is cool. But then you realise you have to poop. Like, really bad.
You excuse yourself, get to the bathroom and do your business only to find that the party’s all-you-can-eat Indian curry and Taco Bell buffet was a little more than your body could handle. Now you’ve got 11 inches of stagnant water staring you down and the romantic interest you were hitting on is knocking on the door saying she’s next in line to pee.
Do you: A) reach for the nearby plunger, B) exit the bathroom complaining loudly about the mess that “someone” left, C) escape through the nearest window, or D) use one of these patented South Korean toilet seals to clean up the whole mess?
While men and women may not ever agree to how to use the toilet or what the length of an appropriate bathroom visit is, we can probably all agree that nothing is worse than someone is standing right outside the bathroom door waiting for your visit to the porcelain throne to end. Yet, somehow a group of Japanese netizens have found several ways to make that terribly awkward moment even worse.
These netizens recently held an impromptu “contest” to find out the creepiest thing a man could say to a woman after she came out of the bathroom. Click below to find out who managed to come up with the worst phrase and why the only “winner” of this contest was bad taste.
Mar 21, 2014
It’s a question that has tormented men for generations. As we wait outside the bathroom dying for a pee or needing to shower, shave, or brush our teeth; as we sit alone in restaurants busying ourselves with our mobile phones, worried that people will think our dates have simply given up on us and gone home; as we stand around shopping malls holding shopping bags while our wives, girlfriends, or female friends “run to the restroom for a second” and are nowhere to be seen for what seems like aeons, the question on our minds is always the same: What, in the name of sweet baby Jesus and his shepherd pals, are women doing in the bathroom that could possibly take so, so long?
Finally, we have some answers in the form of a series of 10 surprisingly frank quotes direct from the women of Japan, as gathered by popular Japanese website Naver Matome. If you’ve ever wondered why girls spend so long in the bathroom, this may prove to be enlightening reading.
Feb 3, 2014
The rules at hotels tend to be the kinds of things you can’t do, like swimming in the pool after seven or running naked down the hallways. But that’s not always the case–sometimes the rules tell you what you should be doing. Case in point: One Osaka hotel’s sign instructing Korean patrons to flush their toilet paper down the toilet.
One of the pet peeves many housewives have is the accidental sprinkle when their husbands tinkle, which eventually leads to one of the things couples commonly argue over; putting the toilet seat up (or down). It seems it’s impossible for women to understand why men can’t keep their sprinkle within the bowl, and at the same time, men can’t seem to get why women get pissed over a tiny splash.
Some innovative housewives in Japan decided that the best way to solve this issue is to make the men go down on their knees when they use the potty.
Nov 26, 2013
On 22 November a 35-year-old man who taught at an Otsu City elementary school resigned after it came to light that he unlawfully entered the women’s restroom of Shiga University. However, according to the scant details of this case it appears this might just be a case of being in the absolute worst place at the wrong time.
It’s a fact of life: everyone poops. And yet society seems to have evolved some sense of embarrassment over letting people know that you’ve dropped a stinky load. We try to assuage these issues with things like private bathroom stalls and air fresheners in public restrooms. In fact, toilets in Japan will often have automatic noise makers to mask any embarrassing sounds that might slip past your posterior.
And yet still, a recent study shows that more than half of Japanese school children refuse to go number two until after they’ve returned to the perfect privacy of their own homes! They’ll hold it for hours rather than respond to nature’s call, their embarrassment about bodily functions eventually causing them to become chronically constipated.
When spending time at the arcade, no one wants to put a pause on the virtual fun. But sometimes nature calls, and the arcade consoles must be temporarily abandoned before someone suffers a busted bladder or soiled shorts. Thankfully for visitors to one game center in Japan, there’s no need to leave behind all gameplay at the bathroom doors. The establishment has posted a set of guidelines which make every trip to the squatty potty into its own sort of mini-game.
What do you do in the toilet? Of course, we don’t mean the obvious “business”, but things that people usually do out of the restroom. Reading, for example. And with media and entertainment made accessible with smartphones and tablets, many of us surf the internet, watch YouTube videos, or play mobile games while on the toilet. A minority of Japanese practice benjo-meshi, literally translated as “toilet meal”.
As the name suggests, it means to have a meal in the bathroom. We always thought benjo-meshi was something unique to Japan, but apparently not! We found evidence of some westerners having meals on their toilets too!
Oct 12, 2013
No matter what language you speak, words can sometimes have a way of landing us in trouble. Sometimes we exaggerate for the sake of making a sentence simpler by saying things like “just a sec.” Other times idiomatic phrases like “talk someone’s ear off” can lead to absurd literal translations.
And then there are times when a simple turn of phrase can inadvertently lead to a major incident involving the police and talk of a potential terrorist attack.
Sep 26, 2013
In the gradually blossoming trend of toilet-themed restaurants, now the people of Taiyuan City in Shanxi Province have one to call their very own. Having only opened in August of this year, it has been drawing capacity crowds of diners and can often be seen with a line going out the door. Much like a real restroom when in high demand…
You know that line careers guidance counsellors often use: “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? Well it looks like one bacterium with its eye on a gig in the bowl of a toilet has perhaps taken that advice a bit too literally…
As we reported in August, the city of Shenzhen, China enacted a pee-control policy in its public toilets. Anyone caught peeing outside of the appropriate receptacle can face fines up to 100 yuan (US$16).
But when life hands you urination regulations, the true entrepreneur makes sweet golden urination regulation-aiding merchandise! That’s just what two opportunists did with their Pee Trajectory Corrector. Look for them conveniently on sale outside of a public washroom in Shenzhen.
On the evening of 4 August, the Liu family returned home at around 9:00pm to the smell of something burning. Thinking the house might be on fire they began to inspect from room to room but found nothing aside from some water dripping from the ceiling.
“I wonder if someone put it out” someone said as they made their way to the second floor still seeing no sign of a fire aside from the stench. Then upon opening the door to the bathroom, they saw the devastation.
Recently Shenzhen, Guangdong announced a new bylaw against “non-civilized” behavior in public toilets of the city. This means that guys for whom the act of urination turns into a Sunday afternoon with a wacky water weasel may face fines if caught.
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