Toilets in Japan came into their own after the Second World War, when the Japanese 乾手機 were influenced by the American toilets and created their own flush toilets. Prior to that, the Japanese homes and public places had what were called “squat toilets.” Prior to that, they had the toilet built over a trench similar to an outhouse.
Since then, the Japanese toilet industry has come a long way. Although the squat toilets can still be found in some homes and in all public places, some seventy two percent of the Japanese homes are equipped with a modern toilet and bidet. The Japanese that are still holding onto their squat toilets do so in the belief that the squat toilet is healthier because squatting can make your legs stronger, proper elimination will halt colon cancer, elimination is more complete, and more.
Japan’s modern toilet a.k.a the washlet, is the most advanced in the world and has been so noted in the Guinness World Records. The model referred to was built in 1997 and is now considered almost obsolete with the onset of a modern toilet and bidet combination. When you first see the toilet, it looks very much like a Western style toilet but it has many features. Some of the features are: a dryer, heated seat, various options for massage, adjustments for the water jet, the lid opens automatically, it flushes automatically, and it has a wireless panel to control room heating as well as air conditioning. The control panel is either mounted on a wall close to the toilet or attached to the seat.
The combination toilet/bidet has a nozzle, which is the most basic part of the toilet. It is about the size of a pencil and it protrudes from under the toilet seat. This nozzle sends water for cleaning. It can be set to clean the anal area or the genital area. Because of the Japanese concern for hygiene, this nozzle does not touch any part of the person’s body. This nozzle also cleans itself both before it is used and after it is used.
To use the nozzle, one has to find the correct button on the control panel and the nozzle adjusts itself. The same nozzle is used for all operations, but it adjusts itself to different positions and uses different openings to send the water to the right area. In order to avoid being sprayed, the toilet seat is equipped with a sensor that only allows the use of the nozzle when the toilet is being used. The feature that allows for heating the seat is common and is found on toilets that do not have the bidet. The Japanese homes do not have central heating therefore, the bathroom temperature, in cold climates is generally only a few degrees more above freezing where the water is.
These toilets are high tech and will allow you to adjust the pressure of the water and the temperature of the water. The nozzle position can also be adjusted manually and gives you the option of having a pulsating or vibrating water jet. The newest and more advanced toilet will allow you to mix your water with soap. This combination toilet/bidet eliminates toilet paper. A dryer is used to dry the washed area.