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post #1 of 10 Old 10-05-2004, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Japanese toilets

I'm going to Japan over Christmas, I look forward to hear "The Sound Princess." I think they need an American version here that will simulate puking sounds in bars. That always embarasses me.

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GADGET HELPS WOMEN USE BATHROOM IN JAPAN

TOKYO - When Naoko Ito uses a public bathroom, she cringes in embarrassment at the thought that other patrons can hear the sounds coming from her stall. That's when she turns to the "Sound Princess."

Ito, like a rapidly growing number of Japanese women, presses a device installed in public toilets to simulate the sound of water flushing and mask the cruder noises of nature.

"I usually use the flushing sound when I go to a public bathroom, such as at a department store, because I get a bit self-conscious," said Ito, a 60-year-old waitress.

The device a curious mix of Japanese bashfulness and modern technology is spreading rapidly through public buildings and has now become standard equipment for new construction.

Leading toilet producer Toto Ltd. has sold 500,000 of their "Sound Princess" "Oto-Hime" in Japanese since 1988, and the company says orders surged 125 percent in 2003 alone.


"The core of our clientele is schools and companies," Toto spokeswoman Kumi Goto said. "Japanese women are very embarrassed by the sounds they make in a toilet."


There's another reason behind the increase in the gadgets: ecology. Women in Japan have traditionally flushed several times to cover up their noises, so the Sound Princess is saving water and cutting down on public building operators' utility bills.


The Sound Princess is fairly simple. The user passes her hand over a sensor, and the convincing sound of a torrent of water comes from a speaker.


Such gadgets might seem a dainty, modern excess of a shame-obsessed society, but the Sound Princess has deep roots in Japanese culture.


The Japanese are notoriously fastidious: the daily bath is practiced with near-religious fervor, and walking inside with your shoes on is considered filthy. The Japanese word for clean "kirei" also means beautiful.


And what happens in a bathroom stall is, well, among the dirtiest things that humans do.


Going to the toilet has been considered embarrassing and even shameful for women since ancient times in Japan, said Noriji Suzuki, a parasitologist at Kochi University Medical School.


"Sometimes you see people talking to each other over a stall in Western countries, but that would never happen in our culture," he said.


The trend is not limited to women these days. Some schools have done away with urinals because boys are increasingly too embarrassed to use the stalls, since going there would tell onlookers exactly what's going to happen next.


Tadafumi Morioka, a spokesman for another Japanese toilet maker, INAX Corp., said his company also started selling a similar product in 1988 amid concerns of wasted water.


He said the installment rate of such devices in modern skyscrapers in Japan is 100 percent. INAX's sales increased 25 percent in 2003, Morioka said, although he refused to give precise numbers.


"Most of the demands for the device come from public facility owners and managers including department stores and elementary and junior high schools," he said.

But for now, "Oto-Hime" seems to likely to remain for women only.

"I still haven't heard of men who say they want 'Oto-hime' in men's rooms," said Goto.

To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Last edited by WetShrub; 10-05-2004 at 12:10 PM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-05-2004, 12:17 PM
 
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Re: Japanese toilets

Dude, the Japanese toilets in nice buildings will crack you up. I actually took a pic of one in my hotel once.

Have you seen the Simpson's episode in Japan? If you haven't, find it and take notes.



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post #3 of 10 Old 10-05-2004, 1:44 PM
 
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Re: Japanese toilets

see, that is another difference between men and women. men try to out doo each other in the toilets, women try to mask it
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-05-2004, 2:37 PM
 
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Re: Japanese toilets

Just be careful of the button in the toilet labelled with a water fountain spouting upwards. That will make you pucker up faster than a sober guy at a gay drunk convention.

Be fast or be last.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-05-2004, 3:36 PM
 
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Re: Japanese toilets

the one i most remember from being there was the slf cleaning seat. when you got up, it flushed and then the seat started to rotate under some contraption in the back of the toilet. came out all sparkly and new once you were finished.
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-05-2004, 4:36 PM
 
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Re: Japanese toilets

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Originally Posted by bubba
the one i most remember from being there was the slf cleaning seat. when you got up, it flushed and then the seat started to rotate under some contraption in the back of the toilet. came out all sparkly and new once you were finished.
They have those in the US too. O'Hare has them.



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post #7 of 10 Old 10-05-2004, 6:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Japanese toilets

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvtolean
Dude, the Japanese toilets in nice buildings will crack you up. I actually took a pic of one in my hotel once.

Have you seen the Simpson's episode in Japan? If you haven't, find it and take notes.
That is one of my favorite episodes! They go into their room and homer heads back to the bathroom while the kids flip through the television stations. Then they come upon a station that looks up through the toilet seat at Homer. You see them looking at him, then a shot looking at their faces "Hey look, there's dad!", "*ziiiippp*... OHHH YEAH!!!", "AAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!"

Funniest part.

To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-05-2004, 6:16 PM
 
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Re: Japanese toilets

yeah we already have that in the US, its called the courtesy flush.

if you can't convince them, confuse them.
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-05-2004, 6:20 PM
 
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Re: Japanese toilets

Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba
see, that is another difference between men and women. men try to out doo each other in the toilets, women try to mask it
freshman year of college my roommate (chris) and a friend (mike) walk come out of the bathroom talking about how loud mike's farting/**** was and he said "I was just trying to scare the ants away" it was hilarious

if you can't convince them, confuse them.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-05-2004, 7:16 PM
 
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Re: Japanese toilets

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvtolean
They have those in the US too. O'Hare has them.

that along with detroit are the 2 worst airports i have ever been to.

memphis has the nicest TP though.
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