East Coast Wine Trail

East Coast Wine Trail
East Coast Wine Trail

Friday, 6 March 2020

As Australians get anal about toilet paper, the Japanese have a solution

While crazy, selfish Australians are stockpiling toilet paper and potentially preventing their fellow citizens from cleaning their bottoms properly, there is no such coronavirus concern in Japan.

While western countries are still stuck in the dark ages of smearing their poo with paper, Japan has for over 30 years been glorying in the high-tech toilet wizardry of washlets.

Want to lift the seat but not risk getting your hands dirty? No problem, just push a button. Is the toilet seat too cold for your sensitive behind? There’s a button for that too. Built-in bidet? Tick. Automatic deodoriser? Tick. Flush with the click of a button? Tick.

Most Japanese would never use toilet paper. A quick jolt of warm or hot water up and around the bunghole does the trick in a cleaner, more efficient manner.

It is estimated over 80% of Japanese homes have a washlet installed. No tiresomely turdy tushes. Righteous rectums (and other bits) are favoured. 

It's a huge leap forward from French and Italian bidets and Thai bum guns.

Surprisingly, the washlet was an American invention, one originally designed and marketed towards hospitals and nursing homes.

But it caught on in Japan, with many local innovations, much more so than the US, where most people still favour dragging tissue paper across their anuses.

Shintoism, Japan’s native faith, has a focus on purity and cleanliness. The marketing slogan "even though it’s a butt, it would like to be washed” was a runaway success in Japan.

Brand leader Toto has grown to become the world’s largest manufacturer of toilets.

With so many facets, a first-time user of a Japanese-style toilet can find the whole process bewildering.

Among the many options on the control panel could be: posterior wash; front wash or bidet; soapy spray cleanse; massage cleaning spray; nozzle sterilisation; water temperature adjustment; adjustable water pressure, air deodoriser; choice of ambient music and automated lids and seats.

Often the bowls are self-washing with warm-air dryers.

Rather than hoarding toilet paper, maybe Australians should sit down and pay attention to useful technology. 

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