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Japanese Culture
Toilet
便所,  べんじょ,  benjou (Toilet) - There are two styles of toilets commonly found in Japan. The oldest type is a simple squat toilet, which is still common in public conveniences. After World War II, modern Western-type flush toilets and urinals became common. The current state of the art for Western-style toilets is the bidet toilet, which, as of 2004, are installed in more than half of Japanese households.[3][4][5] In Japan, these bidets are commonly called Washlets (ウォシュレット, Woshuretto?), a brand name of TOTO Ltd., and include many advanced features rarely seen outside of Asia. Depending on the exact model, these bidets are designed to open the lid when they sense a user nearby, wash the anus or vulva of the user (including a number of pulsating and massaging functions), dry afterwards with warm air, flush automatically and close the lid after use.

The traditional Japanese-style (和式, washiki) toilet is a squat toilet—also known as the Asian toilet as squat toilets of somewhat similar design are common all over Asia. A squat toilet differs from a western toilet in both construction and method of employment. A squat toilet essentially looks like a miniature urinal rotated 90 degrees and set into the floor. Most squat toilets in Japan are made of porcelain, though in some cases (like on trains), stainless steel is also used. Instead of sitting, the user squats over the toilet, facing the hemispherical hood, i.e., the wall in the back of the toilet in the picture seen on the right. A shallow trough collects the waste, instead of a large water-filled bowl as in a western toilet. All other fixtures, such as the water tank, piping, and flushing mechanism, may be identical to those of a western toilet. Flushing causes water to push the waste matter from the trough into a collecting reservoir which is then emptied and carried off into the sewer system. The flush is often operated in the same manner as a western toilet, though some have handles to pull or foot pedals instead. Many Japanese toilets have two kinds of flush: "small" (小) and "large" (大). The difference is in the amount of water used. The former is for urine (in Japanese, literally "small excretion") and the latter for feces (literally, "large excretion"). The lever is often pushed to the "small" setting to provide a continuous covering noise for privacy, as discussed below.

Information source: “Toilets in Japan.” wikipedia.org. Article date: 20 Jan. 2008. Retrieved: Wikipedia. 2 Feb. 2008 <Toilets in Japan>.









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