Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Won't Miss #515 - the toilet seats
At the risk of inviting comments about fat American asses (any such comments won't survive the moderator, just a word of warning), I have to say that the toilet seats in Japan were generally thin plastic affairs which tended to crack over time. This happened not only to the seat we used in my apartment, but also to the ones that were used by the offices that I worked in. This happened because, over time, the stress points where the seat connected to the back of the toilet fractured over time (like metal fatigue, only with plastic).
Beyond the fact that the toilet seats are thin and flimsy, a complaint that I've actually read other non-Japanese buyers of early models of Japanese washlets make, the way in which they are attached makes them harder to remove. I only replaced the seat in our apartment once in 23 years, but the main reason that an easy removal method is helpful is for easier cleaning. In the U.S., you flip a couple of little plastic things and off it comes. In Japan, I had to reach under and unscrew a couple of plastic screws. I think they were not meant to be taken off for cleaning in general since I also saw T.V. shows that instructed women on how to clean the back of the toilet using a toothbrush for maximum cleanliness.
Maybe I just had bad experiences in Japan and good ones here, but after having the capacity to easily remove the seat and clean it as well as experience much better construction, I don't miss the types of toilet seats I tended to come across in Japan.
Posted by Orchid64 at 8:00 AM
Labels: toilet seats, toilets, washlets, won't miss
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This makes me think of junior high toilets that are 'maybe' sort of attached by one faulty plastic hinge. Makes me glad mom taught me the benefits of hover-peeing.ReplyDelete
I can't tell you how much I owe you for introducing me to the phrase "hover-peeing". Thanks. :-)ReplyDelete
A couple of things about the mens' toilet in Japan embarrass me to think about and recall but there it is:ReplyDelete
1) Many Japanese guys don't hold it when they pee. Just one of those things that I noticed ... I always grew up with the phrase "Right handed men don't hold it with their left" but that clearly doesn't apply to men in Japan.
2) The toilet stall doors go all the way to the floor. I guess growing up in the States, when there was a gap in the floor so you could see if it was occupied, I was unprepared going into the mens' room in Japan. Many times if I can't tell if a stall is in use or not, I just leave the bathroom if I have to take a #2. Apparently there is a sign in kanji for open or occupied, but ... can't read the kanji... not yet anyway.
I have never been in a men's room so I didn't know about men not holding it when they pee. I'd think that'd make their aim, er, dubious. ;-)Delete
The stall doors going all the way to the floor is something my students remarked on. Their feeling was the opposite of most Americans. They didn't feel comfortable with the additional exposure, especially when it came to noise. I guess they didn't want anyone to trace their shoes to the stink left in the stall. ;-)
But nothing says "welcome to Japan" better than the heated toilet seats! I've always traveled their in late Fall/early Winter and found the heated seats to be wonderful :)ReplyDelete
I often wondered if the heated seats related to the flimsiness. Some of them are rather "hollow" to accomodate the heating elements inside, but there were some pretty thin ones which didn't have heat.Delete
When I was in Japan, I never used the heated seats, though I did actually own one. There was no electrical outlet in our water closet to plug it into, but also, I found that putting one of those seat covers that are sold in 100 yen shops was just as good at dealing with frigid seats in winter. They weren't cold at all with a cloth cover, and the covers could be easily washed at regular intervals.