Follow-Up Report: Toilets

I’m sure that everyone who read my entry on Japanese powered toilet seats in last year’s blog has been thinking “okay, all of these photos of gorgeous gardens and majestic temples are nice and all, but when is he going to tell us about the toilets?” We have arrived at that moment in this year’s blog.

There isn’t a whole lot to report, though. Here’s a photo of the fixture in our hotel in Tokyo:

IMG 0308

Not much new here, although I like the angled layout of the control labels which makes them easier to read from a seated position, and the subtle use of color on the BACK and FRONT buttons. The unit in our hotel in Kyoto is quite straightforward at first glance, but there are a couple of subtle enhancements:

IMG 1157

The knob at the left is a pressure control for the water stream, which allows finer control than the three settings available on the other model. I’m a little sorry that it’s now labeled DEODORIZER now, rather than the enigmatic FREE ODOR label that we found last year.

The best discovery was the instructions that are affixed in a handy position on the wall:

IMG 1154

Last year there were no instructions in this hotel for the toilet. We figured it out anyway, but one has to wonder why they started providing instructions. Perhaps the front desk was tired of fielding awkward phone calls from foreigners who wondered why their toilets have control panels. I’m amused by the contrast between the explanations of the SHOWER and BIDET buttons. The SHOWER button says, in a fairly straightforward manner, “rinses your posterior with warm water.” The BIDET button, on the other hand, says “sprays warm bidet.” Aside from the awkward grammar, if you don’t already know what a bidet is, this explanation isn’t going to help you much, and you’ll certainly be in for a surprise if you try to figure it out experimentally. Logically they could have said “rinses your anterior with warm water” but I suppose that wouldn’t get the point across to most English-speakers anyway. An attempt to be any more specific would be gender-biased, prone to misunderstood colloquialisms, and perhaps indelicate, e.g., “rinses your hoo-hoo with warm water” probably wouldn’t do. It’s interesting that English seems to have no term similar to “posterior” for this context.

Categorized as Japan 2008

By adam

Go ahead, try to summarize yourself in a sentence or two.

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