A delicate subject matter…

When you ask people what comes to mind when they hear the word ‘Japan,’ the answer will most likely be technology.  Japan is a very advanced country when it comes to this area.  When you enter the country, if you visit the restroom in the airport, you will notice the Japanese style (in the ground squatty potty) toilets.  If you look for another option, you will find the western style toilets with the high-tech toilet seats.  At the least, they will be heated.  I’m not sure how this came to be.  Japan does not use central heating, so you never really appreciate these until you visit a home that doesn’t have one in the dead of winter!

toilet3A truly advanced toilet seat has the bidet options.  The top buttons in the blue adjust the seat temperature.  The next button that looks like air blowing is a dryer.  Below that are two smaller buttons that adjust the water temperature.  The next button is for a bidet spray and the one below that has a little more direct aim/flow.  The button with the red square is the button that stops the water flow and dryer.  In a women’s public restroom, there will be a music button.  This plays music so that your ‘neighbor’ doesn’t hear anything but pleasant music.  I’m told they don’t have these little ‘music notes’ in the men’s room.  I have no answers of how all this came to be, except that I have noticed a lot of European influences here and bidets are used in European countries.  We Americans are behind the times!  HA!

As I am sure you can guess, these are not cheap.  There are no Home Depot $100 toilets here.  We live in a home in which the owner will not do any necessary repairs.  The toilet in our home was close to 40 years old and beginning to fall apart.  When we started looking for a new one, we were completely flabbergasted at the price.  Add to that the poor yen/dollar exchange at the time, and the word ‘impossible’ comes to mind.

In the fullness of time, the yen/dollar exchange improved and my brother-in-law found a toilet for a greatly reduced price.  I also have a husband with some basic plumbing skills, so after years of flushing with a cup a toilet that was held together with caulking… toilet2…look at what the Lord gave us!  I am rejoicing in His goodness!  And before you have a chance to ask the final question…the spigot in the top allows you to wash your hands as the tank fills.  Nothing goes to waste in Japan!

On a side note, during one of our many trips through Detroit traveling to and fro from Japan, we saw a Japanese business man walking through the airport carrying one of these toilet seats.  This is not surprising when you consider the fact that it is often the little things that we miss about our own country. 🙂

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5 thoughts on “A delicate subject matter…

  1. I did find this quite interesting! I think maybe one of the hardest adjustments I’d have overseas would relate to toilet issues.

    A while back i shared about a picnic the family went on to an area that didn’t have bathrooms, and my husband made a “toilet tent” – somewhere he bought a plastic toilet seat that will fit on a Home Depot bucket, and he lined it with a plastic bag and kittie litter. We all choose to drive down to the gas station down the street to use the bathroom. 🙂 But I was glad to have it there in case of emergency. A missionary friend in Spain saw the picture I posted of it and said that would be a luxury in some countries.

  2. jpvicki

    Ahh the pleasures of a ‘hot’ seat and self washing!! And the older we get the more we miss ours when we head back to the USA!! We used to think…uuuu but now, it’s ahhhhh! 😉 Enjoy yours and so glad you have finally were able to upgrade!!

  3. Pingback: Laudable Linkage | Stray Thoughts

  4. I think these “delicate” stories are fun and fascinating! One of the funniest missionary talks I ever heard was from an older missionary wife who described discretely some of the toilet experiences she had in her country of ministry. I laughed so hard I cried. You see, I’m a missionary too! :o)

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