A Thousand Words, Spoken

This sign is posted above toilets in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building‘s observatory bathrooms:


And just like that, a thousand words are spoken.


  1. Ryan Sobol says:

    What’s the custom on squatter toilets in Japan? I know they’re popular with the local people in Indonesia.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sup Ryan,<br><br>Japan traditionally used squatter styled toilets but western styled thrones are on the rise. For example, my schools (older buildings) only have squatters but you'd be hard-pressed to find a new restaurant or mall that didn't have thrones. <br> <br>Some folks find western ones dirty because your cheeks touch the same porcelain graced by so many others. And there's actually been some research showing that the squatting position may actually healthier for us in that it's more conducive to flushing out our systems (and when you think about it, we as a people have probably squatted for most of our existence, with the idea of a porcelain throne being a relatively new development).<br> <br>I can't believe I'm typing this much about toilets.

  3. B :) says:

    I can’t believe you typed that much about toilets either… haha. Although it was all very interesting and educational.I was watching a House Hunters where the location was in Tokyo and they showed an apartment with a super modernized toilet. It came with its own remote control! And you could warm the seat and do all other types of things. It was kind of cool, but then I also thought, "That’s doing too much for something that’s just meant to drop waste in."

  4. Anonymous says:

    Those types are seriously amazing. They turn toilet stalls into cockpits! I’ve definitely been spoiled by the heated seats and am not looking forward to a country with cold porcelain as the only option! But I also know what you mean about the overkill aspect. As much as I like them, I also initially thought they took them too far. But each feature can be mapped to some need (although, not always a strong need) in the Japanese demographic who use them. For example, some toilets play loud background music so that people can’t hear last night’s katsu (fried pork cutlet) exiting your system. While somewhat embarrassing in America, it’s not a particularly huge deal if folks overhear the damage being done. In Japan, however, image plays a bigger role and so a feature like that comes more in handy.

  5. Blue Shoe says:

    You know, just to clear up any confusion.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It makes you wonder what happened in the past that caused this sign to be needed in the first place.

  7. N says:

    I live in Japan and trust me it’s a common problem!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    N, I hope you can share some stories…

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