back to article Reg man 0: Japanese electronic toilet 1

Dear reader, I am in a state of shock and horror. That’s right - I have attempted to use a Japanese electric toilet in the manner for which it was designed. I fear my rear may never recover. Your correspondent is currently in Tokyo for Huawei’s Mobile Broadband Forum 2016 and is staying in an excellent, if, for the purposes of …

  1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    We have one

    We have one, but in our own bedroom, not for the use of guests. When one of our children came to stay recently she decided to investigate. She came downstairs with water all down her and announced "I've found out what the remote control on your loo does. Don't worry, I've cleaned up the water."

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: We have one

      Not sure what problem an electro-bog is trying to solve?

      I'll admit that those of us blessed with XX chromosomes may well find a post-loo wash useful, particularly at certain parts of the lunar cycle. But if that really - ahem - floats your boat - ahem - then buy a bidet.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: We have one

        it's more hygenic then smearing sh*t all over your arse with a piece of paper you hold in your hand. It's also kinder on the sanitation plant, as they only have to deal with water (and your excrement) rather than giant wads of paper mache!

        There's two reasons for you...

      2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: We have one

        "But if that really - ahem - floats your boat - ahem - then buy a bidet."

        I guess you live in the US. In the UK (more so in Japan) many bathrooms are too small for a bidet. We had one till we wanted a bigger shower, and something had to go. Eliminating an appliance saves pn space and cleaning.

        1. Tikimon Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: We have one - Room too small?

          You can purchase a bidet unit that mounts on your existing toilet. I recently got one on Amazon for $50 US. Thought we should try it out,since they're rare in the US. We're quite liking it and plan to install one in the guest bath.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We have one

          Eliminating an appliance saves pn space and cleaning.

          Crank up the pressure and the electric toothbrush can go too :).

          I must admit that the complexity of these interfaces puzzles me. Wouldn't it be simpler to make a "1" and a "2" button, possibly adorned with some explanatory graphic graphics? Maybe the luxury version could add turbo buttons recycled from 90s PCs for the more challenging work instead of simply running the relevant, but for the moment it appears more a Microsoft interface than an Apple one, so to speak, although I don't want to speculate where the ribbon would feature :).

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Bidet???

            How in the world is having a separate bidet better than building that functionality into the toilet which is already taking up space and already has the connection to the sewer line? Though I have an ahem 'bog standard' toilet, I have seen bidet seats that can retrofit onto almost any toilet for $250 and up. Surely installing a bidet costs more than that, when you consider the additional plumbing work, even if you have the space. If you lived in a mansion with a bathroom larger than the typical living room and money is no object I still can't see any reason whatsoever why you'd want a standalone bidet!

            One problem with the retrofit bidet seat is that for the IMHO non-negotiable functions like heating the water it is spraying most people would need a new electric line run as it isn't common to have an outlet next to your toilet. At least not in the US. I suppose if you were some sort of neanderthal OK with ice cold water (or living in such a tropical locale that tap water is lukewarm year round) a very simple model could be made to cost less than $50, with a mechanically operated on/off valve.

            Once you have electricity run anyway I guess you might as well have a heated seat, though a blow dryer might be taking things just a bit too far!

            1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Bidet???

              If you lived in a mansion with a bathroom larger than the typical living room and money is no object I still can't see any reason whatsoever why you'd want a standalone bidet!

              Because you *ahem* can.

          2. Anonymous Blowhard

            Re: We have one

            "for the moment it appears more a Microsoft interface than an Apple one"

            Future MS toilet, up pops "Crappy":

            Crappy: "It looks like you're taking a dump..."

            1. HildyJ

              Re: We have one

              "for the moment it appears more a Microsoft interface than an Apple one"

              Obviously it was an Apple interface and had he consulted honorable ancestor Steve Jobs he would have learned that he was sitting on it wrong.

            2. king of foo

              Re: We have one

              BSOD

              Big Shite Of Donner?

              Brown Skids Of Doom?

        3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: We have one

          Bidets are virtually unknown in the US. More to the point, what purpose does all the electronics serve the Crapper?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We have one

        Not sure what problem an electro-bog is trying to solve?

        skid marks on yer trolleys?

        Pussy that smells like stale gorilla fart?

        Muddy balls?

      4. IsJustabloke Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: We have one

        "hen buy a bidet."

        I can wash my feet in the shower thanks

    2. Ralph B

      Re: We have one

      Obligatory Simpsons video snippet.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: We have one

        And Futurama: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE0sddhCIdE

    3. Number6

      Re: We have one

      We bought a house that had one fitted (the pump recently failed, without which it won't even flush, $500 later...) There's a pressure sensor in the seat somewhere so that getting up seems to cut off all water spraying activity so it's clearly better behaved than some models.

      It can be very useful the day after a really good curry.

  2. adnim Silver badge
    Joke

    Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

    Not covered in stale piss?

    Perhaps the control panel should be at shoulder height (when sat) near to the toilet roll dispenser. However, not being familiar with Japanese toileting culture, perhaps Japanese males sit to urinate, on a level with the toilet rim a few centimetres to the left could be perfect.

    1. Tachikoma
      Meh

      Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

      perhaps Japanese males sit to urinate

      In my lengthy experience, a great number of Japanese businessmen just pee wherever they fell like it, not bothering to look for facilities.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

        What you need is a touch sensitive OLED display bar that can change the labels to suit any language. And Bluetooth. Gotta have Bluetooth.

        1. Neill Mitchell

          Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

          I think you'll find Apple has just patented that...

        2. paulf Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

          @TRT "Gotta have Bluetooth".

          Bluetooth is an absolutely necessity* so it can connect to the corresponding App (now available in the App Store and Google Play) that allows you to track how many times you visit the khazi, what you do, how much you did, how long it took, the consistency and so on. Then you can upload all the stats to our cloud servers (see the "privacy policy") and use them to play "Top Trumps" with your friends!

          * This isn't entirely fantasy - TOH has a Braun electric toothbrush with Bluetooth probably for downloading a whole pile of useless brushing stats that result in some oddly contrived targeted ads. Sometimes I'm staggered beyond words.

        3. You aint sin me, roit
          Coat

          Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

          Bluetooth? Arse-wiping is definitely something to be done remotely via my phone, but I want mine connecting to the internet, with full data upload to the cloud so that "analytics" can be done on methane levels, shit density, klingon count and optimized hot water usage.

          After all, an IoT crapper is the perfect host for a bot net...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

            After all, an IoT crapper is the perfect host for a bot net

            And hands-free ...

          2. Mark 85 Silver badge
            Devil

            @You aint sin me, roit -- Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems.

            I want mine connecting to the internet, with full data upload to the cloud so that "analytics" can be done on methane levels, shit density, klingon count and optimized hot water usage.

            And somehow one could wish that NSA and GHCQ decided to "check" your upload. Bwahahahahaha

          3. TheDillinquent
            Big Brother

            Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

            Anal-ytics?

        4. James Loughner

          Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

          "What you need is a touch sensitive OLED display bar that can change the labels to suit any language. And Bluetooth. Gotta have Bluetooth."

          What not Internet iOT is a must

        5. king of foo

          Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

          If you use the "toothbrush" functionality then blue tooth is a definite possibility... Certainly in the UK where little blue pellet things are put in the cistern to ass-ist with cleaning.

      2. james 68

        Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

        @Tachikoma

        Dunno why someone downvoted you, you're correct after all, they piss wherever they are against anything that stands still long enough.

        As an ex-pat who lives in Japan here is a piece of free advice for travellers - Ignore ALL buttons on a toilet (they're shiny and tempting I know but you do not want to go there). Wipe your ass with the provided paper, flush, leave it at that and be thankful that you found an actual porcelain throne instead of one of the oval holes in the ground known as a "squat toilet".

        I despise the ones that start playing elevator music when you sit on them, they don't disguise any grunts or splashes so why? Why must they make everything play godawful music at you or start talking to you in gibberish when you near them? I like my inanimate objects to be dumb thanks, next they'll be connected to the interwebs IoT's style screaming for all the world to see "Hey! Just had a Gaijin dump a kaiju sized load!! Click here for instagram pics and schoolgirl panties!!!"

        Japan is fu©king weird, but also awesome.

    2. src

      Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

      Yes, in Japan males sit to urinate.

      1. thomas k

        Re: In Japan, males sit to urinate

        Wait, doesn't everyone sit? Well, maybe when not at home.

      2. eionmac

        Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

        It is better to sit to urinate if male to avoid 'spray microdrops' from water entering the atmosphe, likewise close lid before flushing for same reason.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

          Re: avoiding spray microdrops

          Exactly. Urine is highly corrosive and will sooner or later ruin everything in the splash zone. Radiators, fittings, tiles, joint sealer... even stainless steel and concrete.

          Sources:

          1. Cleaning toilets in an army barracks for 3 months.

          2. 30+ years in civil engineering, including redevelopment, FM, management of tenements, office blocks, schools, etc.

          Seriously guys - sit down. (I assume today smartphones and tablets have more of an impact towards this than anything else that's been tried before.) Oh, and while we're at it: wash your fucking hands when you're done, okay? If I feel like touching your junk, by proxy or otherwise, I'll just ask.

    3. Tom 64
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

      My 2c since I live in Tokyo.

      You wont find these in public bathrooms often, and in the gents that are public there are almost always urinals too. Some units do indeed have the remote buttons installed higher near the bogroll (which makes finding them difficult sometimes when pissed).

      The heated water is heated and stored locally in the cistern unit, so no, this hack didn't deprive anyone else of hot water.

      The seatwarmer function is awesome in winter time.

      Probably a good thing this hack didn't push the button with the (female) human face on it.

  3. bigp2

    In a hotel in a Seoul the futuristic toilet had one button with an English label that I was too scared to press whilst in the vicinity - "wand cleaner".

  4. Dave 126 Silver badge

    You got away lightly: A friend of mine was due to give a speech of thanks to her Japanese hosts after a stint of teaching English when she made a trip to the bog. She pushed the wrong button, and the toilet retracted into the wall and a shower head soaked her to the skin. She had to give her speech with her silk blouse stuck to her skin.

    Technology aside, the product designers Seymour and Powell revealed in the late nineties series 'Designs on your [toilet]' that the Japanese test the flushing system toilet in a more rigorous and sensible way than we do. UK toilets are tested with standard speheres, whereas the Japanese test the flush with hand-rolled foodstuffs to better simulate what the toilet will have to deal with in the real world.

    It was also toilet design that led to Jony Ive leaving the UK for California:

    'Tangerine had a consultancy contract with the bathroom-fittings company to design a toilet. I was there when Jony made an excellent presentation to this guy who was wearing a red nose because it was Comic Relief day. This clown then decided to throw his weight around and pulled apart Jony’s design. It was ridiculous. Britain lost Jony Ive then and there.’ - Clive Grinyer

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      t was also toilet design that led to Jony Ive

      Now I know where did I see those white rounded corner shapes before...

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Also, "if it doesn't work you're holding it incorrectly"...

    2. Mayhem

      All I can say is "Been there, done that".

      Yes the transforming bathroom and the *Oh God What Just Happened* tube squirting water everywhere. There's also the vibrating massage function, the blast of hot air drying your rear, the differentially heated seat, the traditional style toilet that emerges from a shell in the floor when you stand in the wrong place in a room ....

      Lets just say that Japan can be a remarkably startling place for anyone from the west with an engineer's mentality of "oh, lets see what this button does" and no patience for asking advice beforehand..

      (bring a change of clothes, just in case)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Coffee/keyboard

    Blimey!

    I think I'll hold my nose and stick to the pit toilets seen in national parks in remote areas.

    At least there, there's rarely a surprise… unless Slim Newton has been around…

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Blimey!

      Had the unfortunate experience to deal with a pit toilet sans paperwork. Fortunately it was only a long tinkle and no No2's that was delivered.

      The smell was something like an Indian sewerage works on a hot summer's night.

    2. patrickstar

      Re: Blimey!

      Rarely a surprise? See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr1btjRlGpk et al. for what might await you.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blimey!

      "I think I'll hold my nose and stick to the pit toilets seen in national parks in remote areas."

      The least smelly toilet I ever encountered was in a national park of a former Iron Curtain country. The loo shed was literally built out on girders from the side of the cliff. The toilet had a hole in the bottom from which you could see the river several hundred feet below. There was a box for used paper. I did not go down to the river to see if there were warning signs (and I don't know the Slavonic for "High speed crap may descend without warning" anyway.)

    4. Tikimon Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Blimey! Pit toilet horror

      "I think I'll hold my nose and stick to the pit toilets seen in national parks in remote areas. At least there, there's rarely a surprise."

      Rarely, yes, but this once was enough for a lifetime. The tank was about half full, and very liquid. Have you ever watched the fluid dynamics of something falling into water? You know how Improbable does not mean Impossible? This time the splash reached up and scored a solid hit, an anti-bidet if you will. I shrieked in horror and nearly scrubbed my own ass off trying to get clean.

    5. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Blimey!

      At least there, there's rarely a surprise

      Hehe... you never had to experience the results of throwing a pack of activated yeast in one. It used to be one of the fav "national park pranks" during in my youth.

  6. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Future Toilet?

    Really Mr Corfield, you don't know how to use the three seashells? What are you, a caveman? :)

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Future Toilet?

      I can't up-vote this enough

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Future Toilet?

      In the US it's two brown corncobs and white one.

  7. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Trollface

    When will those "smart" toilets be IoT enabled?

    Should be fun blasting ice-cold water at random backsides during payload delivery...

    1. mhoulden
      Holmes

      Already been done, and there's already a vulnerability. It does require Bluetooth and to be reasonably close but it's one way to cause mischief from the next cubicle.

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        Ah, so IoT really means Internet of Toilets?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Internet connected toilets

          They are connected to the cloud. The protocol is IP V.carefully.

          1. Soruk

            Re: Internet connected toilets

            It also needs a decent encraption protocol.

  8. NorthernCoder
    Boffin

    Come on...

    Google translate (the app) can translate the text on those buttons from a photo of my screen showing the picture in the article.

    Wouldn't that be an obvious solution to a tech reporter; to use an automated translation service?

    1. ProperDave

      Re: Come on...

      Damn you beat me to stating the obvious too. That would have been my first thought in this situation. :o

      Also - I would imagine it would be possible to google an English translation of Japanese techno-bogs.

      @Author; Was this a 'Washlet' toilet? They even have an interactive guide in English...

      http://www.toto.co.jp/en/gtjt/washlet/

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Come on...

      Damn, I was using google translate on menus last week to make sure I didn't inadvertently order something with meat in, while eating out in Seville.

      The image of someone using it for his enthronement is not a good association.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Come on...

      I can tell you've not used Google Translate before.

      Icon is the user's response after the translation.

    4. DropBear Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Come on...

      ...not to mention the same source easily reveals one of the buttons (with the visible "8" on it) says "Off for 8 hours" (presumably to save some electricity at night). That kinda explains the "everything just turned off" thing isn't is. Oh, and the very first button (with a "vaguely" familiar square symbol, no idea where else I saw it) reads plainly "STOP"...

  9. Test Man

    Reminds me of the Three Seashells...

    1. Kane Silver badge
      Facepalm

      "Reminds me of the Three Seashells..."

      He doesn't know how to use the three seashells...

  10. ahnlak

    Luddite

    While that control panel looks a little less pictorial than you usually see, it's nothing that common sense and Google Translate can't explain to you these days.

    Of course if you're actually defeated by simple technology, rather than going on a hunt for a "conventional toilet", you could just leave the damn buttons alone.

  11. Kryogenik

    My mother had the some experience on a holiday to Japan 3 years ago. We were in a large shopping mall in Tokyo and she popped into the toilets whilst I waited outside for her. 20 minutes later (and after a large number of other women entered and exited successfully) she emerged red faced. She had done the exact same thing, leaving her trousers drenched! A lady in the cubicle next to her heard her shrill squeal of panic and (without either of them knowing a word of each other's languages) helped her dry off with towels and hand dryers. Needless to say, she never touched the buttons on any other toilet like that again...

    1. Uffish

      Re: Luddite

      A middle eastern office loo - standard row of standard cubicles. A bit too skimpy-USA-style for my liking but needs must when nature calls - and it was, urgently.

      Sat down, reset the intestines to factory fresh and looked for the loo paper - there was none, not even an empty holder. There was however a standard shower attachment on a flexi-pipe with hot and cold taps. I had one, slightly used, paper tissue in my pockets.

      You don't have to be a luddite to long for home comforts.

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Luddite

        You only need a single square of toilet paper anyway.

        Tear off a corner, about the same size as your thumbnail. Stick this on the end of your finger, and use it to clean your bum.

        The rest of the tissue can then be used for cleaning your finger.

        1. Bowlers

          Re: Luddite

          Three sheets were considered necessary when I was in the forces. One to wipe up, one to wipe down and one to polish.

  12. oiseau Silver badge
    Pint

    Made my day ...

    "... up the old cigar clipper."

    Absolutely fantastic!

    My first laugh today.

    Have a beer.

    Cheers.

  13. Marc 25

    you could just leave the damn buttons alone.

    an unpressed button is like catnip to anyone in the IT world.

    "What does this do?"

    <JAB>

    1. EddieD

      Re: you could just leave the damn buttons alone.

      "I wonder what happens if I press this button?"

      "I wouldn't"

      "Oh."

      "What happened?"

      "A sign lit up saying 'Please do not press this button again'"

      ©Douglas Adams

    2. richardcox13

      Re: you could just leave the damn buttons alone.

      “Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.”

      ― Terry Pratchett

    3. Piro
      Thumb Up

      Re: Made my day ...

      Made me smile 'n all.

    4. Soruk
      Mushroom

      Re: you could just leave the damn buttons alone.

      If you're a bloke, BEWARE the automatic tampon replacement function.

  14. thesykes

    Google translate?

    I just tried that using the camera and even drawing the characters.

    I now have bidet, buttocks and muff as the last few entries.

  15. Silae

    Translation

    Starting from the bottom up (sorry I had to):

    Button (停止) --> Stop

    Button (おしり) --> Water spray to clean your bum

    Button (ムーブ) --> Have the spray move in a forward and backwards manner

    Button (ビデ) --> Bidet

    Button (弱) --> Weaken the water spray

    Button (強) --> Strengthen the water spray

    The other buttons you don't really need to know or touch.

    General advice is to set the water spray strength to minimum for normal business and strongest for when you want an enema to help things move forward.

    There is no dryer on this washlet and your hotel's model is a fairly cheap.

    Now you are equipped with the requisite knowledge, give it another go.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Translation

      once you go auto bidet toilet with warmed seat you never want to go back.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Translation

        "once you go auto bidet toilet with warmed seat you never want to go back."

        Someone has downvoted this, but why? It's absolutely true in my experience.

      2. Fink-Nottle

        Re: Translation

        > once you go auto bidet toilet with warmed seat you never want to go back.

        (not the down voter)

        In my last new-build house the plumber managed to swap the hot and cold feeds. Warm water in the loo cistern is quite pleasant - the scalding hot second flush, not so much.

    2. okand

      Re: Translation

      Not to mention the red square on the stop button.

      I suppose these days with digital media that you don't need to rewind it's possible to forget the meaning of that one though...

    3. 080

      Re: Translation

      One of the high points of my Tokyo visit, and with buttons mounted on the left hand wall you can work out what they do while you do the do-do.

    4. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Translation

      No dryer function?

      Then you probably don't want to trust the hand towels in that bathroom.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The stop button is the one with a red square on it, like the stop buttons on every other device in the world.

    Also, why do you think it's normal to clean your bottoms with dry pieces of paper? You don't clean your crockery or kitchens or windows or cars or faces or feet with nothing but dry paper!

    If a restaurant served you a meal cooked with equipment that had only ever been cleaned with kitchen roll and served on plates with cutlery that had likewise never seen water you'd call the health inspectors!

    Yet you fumble blindly with a thin piece of tissue on your grubbiest of holes and think it's normal, you savages!

    1. MJI Silver badge

      I wet the toilet paper!

      And funny really my evening one is straight before my shower.

      Clean bum here!

    2. Frank Bitterlich
      Big Brother

      Stop... or Record?

      "The stop button is the one with a red square on it, like the stop buttons on every other device in the world."

      Funny, I thought it looked more like a "Record" button... and no, I wouldn't be surprised to see it having that feature, too.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Yet you fumble blindly with a thin piece of tissue on your grubbiest of holes and think it's normal, you savages!"

      Memories of the Izal toilet paper that was non-tissue and distinctly uncomfortable to use. Apparently people still buy it.

      1. Ellipsis
        Devil

        Re: Izal

        “Toilet paper with all the absorbent qualities of an armoured car…”

        — Ben Elton, ca. 1990 (IIRC)

        1. Alien8n Silver badge

          Re: Izal

          Reasonably sure we had that at school. Until we came up with the bright idea of using it to write home with. Needless to say after a few choice letters back from the precious ones' maters and paters it was soon upgraded to bog standard Scott rolls. (pun intended)

          1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

            Re: Izal

            Don't knock it. Izal made quite good tracing paper and could also be used for roll-ups.

            1. Jay 2
              Happy

              Re: Izal

              Yep. Back in my early school days I recall someone requesting a trip to the toilet as they'd "run out of tracing paper".

              1. Sam Liddicott

                Re: Izal

                When we ran out of tracing paper, I offered to fetch some as I knew were it was.

                My teacher was very pleased with the supply I brought, until he heard I got it from the toilets.

                Obviously they had high-class tissue in the staff toilets.

                The pupil toilets were old stables or milking stalls or something like that.

            2. Pedigree-Pete Bronze badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Izal

              ...and if you had a plasic comb it made a really good impression of a Kazoo (even if the taste was a little off). PP

          2. Sooty

            Re: Izal

            Not sure if it's the same stuff, but the toilet paper we had at school was basically a roll of greaseproof paper. Try to wipe with it, and it's halfway up your back before you can stop it, and no absorption at all.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Izal

          “Toilet paper with all the absorbent qualities of an armoured car…”

          — Ben Elton, ca. 1990 (IIRC)

          Anyone else wonder if there is a standard armoured car somewhere for calibration purposes?

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: standard armoured car

            I think the toilet paper is the standard. Armoured cars vary and most can be knocked out by a nuclear bomb, so they are measured in millizals.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Memories of the Izal toilet paper that was non-tissue and distinctly uncomfortable to use. Apparently people still buy it.

        Ah, Izal. I remember it from the facilities in a public park when I was much younger. Each sheet was printed with the words "Government Property". As if anyone would steal it.

        1. nijam

          > As if anyone would steal it.

          No, it's so you could return it to them afterwards.

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Memories of the Izal toilet paper that was non-tissue and distinctly uncomfortable to use

        And operated more like a strigil[1] than paper.

        [1] No - I'm not *that* old, despite what my colleagues might think..

      4. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Memories of the Izal toilet paper that was non-tissue and distinctly uncomfortable to use. Apparently people still buy it.

        Really? I thought only my Gran ever bought that, and she died 30 years ago.

        Izal fitted the faciltiies at my grandparents' house perfectly well. It was an outside toilet. In Yorkshire. I think they did it to discourage people from staying for the weekend in winter.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Savages

      Most of us assume it's never going to be all that clean regardless, and so we're not going to be touching it or expecting anyone else to. So the main priorities are to keep our undergarments as unmarked as possible and to avoid the shame of smelling in any noticeable way for the rest of the day. Paper is adequate for this.

      I wouldn't have dared to press any of those buttons, not just because of blind ignorance of the effects but I do wonder about the cleanliness of any water originating from within a toilet. Eww.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Savages

        Ideally, of course, you'd use a goose.

        http://knowledgenuts.com/2014/08/11/why-you-should-wipe-yourself-with-a-gooses-neck/

      2. Tikimon Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Savages

        The water originates from a pipe to your house main water supply, not from the toilet bowl. It's as clean as your shower water.

    5. ProperDave

      Toilet paper must possibly be the best example of consumerism in action.

      That's the toilet paper cartels for you.

      1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
        Happy

        Toilet paper

        I personally prefer to augment the cleaning process with a little warm water, when possible. But perhaps this paper would do a better job: Best Paper?

    6. cambsukguy

      I think it is Horses for courses.

      Few people eat from assholes, most use plates.

      And, a dishwasher is kinda like that toilet, with the drying feature added that is.

      As a previous poster said, the best way for the 'daily' users is to go soon before exercise, shower, whatever and be nice and clean in case you are knocked down by a car and go to hospital.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Few people eat from assholes

        OBVIOUSLY NEVER WATCHED MANY COOKING PROGRAMS !!

        Anon, cos I couldnt be bothered to delete and rewrite after a caps lock incident.

      2. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Cue Billy Connolly

        "be nice and clean in case you are knocked down by a car and go to hospital."

        Well I've operated and he should pull through. But really, Mrs Connolly, if you'd seen the state of his underpants!

    7. Law

      "If a restaurant served you a meal cooked with equipment that had only ever been cleaned with kitchen roll and served on plates with cutlery that had likewise never seen water you'd call the health inspectors!"

      I generally don't allow people to eat out my arse... I also don't pressure hose down the kitchen or dining table every time we dirty them, I use kitchen towel / spray.

      I'm fancy anyway, I use dry to wipe, then a single moist/fragranced (flushable wet wipes) to have a last clean.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        [quote]I generally don't allow people to eat out my arse...[/quote]

        You've never lived...

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
        Stop

        (flushable wet wipes)

        Which are provably, not flushable.. (well, they are in the sense that yes, they will disappear down the pan. But they don't degrade like toilet paper and are directly responsible for a lot of the sewer blockages in residental areas. Not helped by the fatbergs left by people tipping cooking oil down the sink..)

      3. TRT Silver badge
    8. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      The stop button is the one with a red square on it, like the stop buttons on every other device in the world.

      Otherwise known as "Record" on audio-visual devices..

  17. MJI Silver badge
    Linux

    Toilet dreams

    This reminds me of my occasional dreams about toilets, no doubt one of these will now appear in one.

    Searching on toilet dreams usually mentions all sort of bullshit, but of course it means you need the loo.

    Like in a big building and EVERY toilet is flooded.

    Saw a pyramid with a public convenience at the top, got there after a long climb and it was - closed.

    Luckily I have never found a usable one in a dream.

    <--------------------------------------

    Two toilets with a yellow shared flush

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Toilet dreams

      "Luckily I have never found a usable one in a dream."

      I have - but fortunately not after the waking point where muscle inhibition is removed.

      What is interesting is that none of the toilets seem to be recognisable as places I have known - although the fittings are familiar. They are always communal conveniences - and never any sign of the handy bushes that feature in country walks. Probably linked to my bladder problems that make going to unknown locations a worry in case there are no public conveniences.

      Several years ago a trip to Crystal Palace became a fruitless search for a public convenience. The council's "you are here" map showed three. One was derelict, the other was obliterated by a new supermarket, and the third was in a park but only open in the summer.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Toilet dreams

        I know what you mean, like the strange leisure centre and I have never been to Egypt nor any Inca replacements.

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: Toilet dreams

          You should all consider eating less cheese before bed. Much, much less cheese.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Toilet dreams

            Not less cheese but less water

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Toilet dreams

              Mispronunciation. It's actually "Christ! I'll pee less" Park.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Toilet dreams

              "[...] but less water"

              Doesn't help if the problem is a false "urgency" signal. The tryptophan in cheese relaxes you and may give a better sleep.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Toilet dreams

            "Much, much less cheese."

            Apparently the tryptophan in cheese helps you sleep.

            http://www.dreams.co.uk/sleep-matters-club/eating-cheese-bedtime-really-give-nightmares

          3. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Toilet dreams

            I've never had a toilet dream involving #2, but occasionally #1. There is often something preventing me from finding a toilet, and when I do there are often issues like it is full or smells terrible or there's a lot of unknown fluid on the floor around it so I have to pee from a distance. Sometimes I can't overcome the obstacles and never go, other times I do manage to go. I've never peed the bed from peeing in my dreams.

            I've found the real problem with peeing in my dreams is that since it is because I need to go for real, it doesn't cure the need in my dreams either. Nothing worse than dreaming you're peeing - especially if you had to overcome a lot of obstacles to do so - and then immediately needing to go again and having to overcome even more obstacles hoping for a return visit until the urge is finally great enough to wake me up!

  18. Kane Silver badge

    Sounds like...

    "Without warning this caused a jet of hot water to shoot, well, directly up the old cigar clipper."

    ...the Patent 'Typhoon' Superior Indoor Ablutorium with Automatic Soap Dish to me!

    1. magickmark

      Re: Sounds like...

      That Bloody Stupid Johnson, err?

  19. Mephistro Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    A question for connoisseurs...

    Given that the 'tap' that produces the water jets and the air vents are in a place that is extremely likely to be in frequent contact with faeces and urine, and given that said vents and water jets have mobile parts and (ehemm) orifices -where bacteria and organic matter can accumulate and reproduce- ...

    ...Are these Japanese toilets really more hygienic than standard crappers? To me these high-tech toilets sound a bit like the stick in a water bucket that the ancient Romans used and shared in public toilets instead of loo roll. As other fellow commentards suggested, a bidet or even a fast shower would be far better than these Japanese technological wonders.

    IMO -though I could be wrong- these toilets are a solution in search of a problem, that -as is usually the case- can/will cause more problems, like, e.g. having your eggs parboiled and your "old cigar clipper" *slightly burnt.

    *The icon is for the whole article, but I'd like to add two or three more "thumbs up" for this expression. :-D

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: A question for connoisseurs...

      "Given that the 'tap' that produces the water jets and the air vents are in a place that is extremely likely to be in frequent contact with faeces and urine, and given that said vents and water jets have mobile parts and (ehemm) orifices -where bacteria and organic matter can accumulate and reproduce"

      They are designed not to have crevices and they have an auto clean cycle after every use.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        Re: A question for connoisseurs...

        Thanks for the info! With this knowledge, I'll re-activate my plans to visit Japan one of these years. :-)

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: A question for connoisseurs...

      The toilet should have an air-gap between its cistern and the incoming water supply, to protect the rest of your house's outlets from cross-contamination. This is often a problem with the shower hoses that are fitted next to toilets - and because they're on a common water system, often on the floor above the kitchen sink, they're a serious backflow risk. Back-siphonage if dropped in the toilet bowl. You hope that the installer at least spends £5 on a double check valve, which is illegal but mostly effective. There's at least one WC sold in the UK that complies with the water regulations - I seem to recall they're about £6,000 though.

      The nozzles are then recessed under the seat/rim, so that you don't pee on them or if you're really trying manage to balance a flying poo on them.

      When you're finished they then pop out and wash your front and/or back - and then pop back away again, and have a self-cleaning thing. Don't know if they only clean with water, or have a bleach tank though. Plus optional air-dryers.

      We designed a unit to retrofit for hoses for a large hotel, and comply with the regs. Got to have warm water on your bum too, so it's quite big with all the stuff you have to cram in the cabinet. But nobody wants a cold bum, however clean...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I guess he should just be happy he didn't get one of the newer models...

    Those have touchscreens on the wall to control the toilet.

    That said, after the first moment of surprise, I loved them when I visited Japan, and I'd really like to get one for Christmas :D

    1. CommodorePet

      Re: I guess he should just be happy he didn't get one of the newer models...

      Yep, even the flush button is on that touchscreen. Which is awkward if you don't spot it when you go into a bathroom for the first time - "I know it's here somewhere, people are going to think I'm going #2 if I don't find it and get out of the bathroom soon". Turns out it was on the wall facing the toilet, which you'd only notice once you sat down. If you just visited for No 1, it wasn't in your sight...

    2. Schultz
      Angel

      ...and I'd really like to get one for Christmas :D

      Here you go: smart toilet seats for every taste. Make sure to choose a Samsung, their battery operated models have this new ultrafast drying function.

  21. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Joke

    Reminds me of a joke ;->

    A guy is flying from London to New York and half way across is desperate for the lav but their a queue for the blokes, so he begs the stewardess to all him to the use the ladies, she says yes but say that you must not push the buttons!

    he goes in and does his business and being a geek cant resist the temptation of the forbidden buttons.

    the first marked wash gives a rather surprising squirt of warm water, the second marked dry turns on a blast of warm air, finally the the button marked A.T.R. at this his world folds into a a black hole of agony in his crotch and mercifully he faints.

    On awakening he feels groggy and can hear the beeping of hospital equipment looking around he confirms his place in a bed which has the stewardess from the plane sat next to it, looking rather miffed she says : you just couldn't leave the buttons alone could you, the final button was the Automatic Tampon Remover! your willy is under the pillow.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Reminds me of a joke ;->

      Very old joke. Must be from the days when there were separate gender loos on planes.

      Maybe the Graf Zeppelin.

      1. SImon Hobson Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Reminds me of a joke ;->

        It might be an old one, but it's still funny.

        The version I know has an extra button, and the buttons are labelled "WW" (for warm wash), "BD" (for blow dry), "PP" (for powder puff), and finally ATR ...

        The mind boggles as what the icon for the last one would like like if they tried to do pictorial icons ...

  22. kmac499

    Lower Tech alternative

    Who needs a Bidet once you've mastered handstands in the shower. (Don't forget the noseclip)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lower Tech alternative

      once you've mastered handstands in the shower

      Oi, what are you doing looking at my shower's IP address?

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Lower Tech alternative

      Sibirian toilet.

      One short stick and one long stick.

      The short stick is used for support.

      The long stick is used to fend off the wolves.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lower Tech alternative

        Sibirian toilet.

        One short stick and one long stick.

        The short stick is used for support.

        The long stick is used to fend off the wolves.

        I think a lot of people here have got the wrong end of the stick.

  23. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Alert

    "I began pressing all the other buttons - except for the one with a graphic of a human face."

    It's easy to confuse the hair on that graphic with the hands from Munch's The Scream.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're doing it wrong

    You have to be half cut on sake first, then through the power of alcohol fuelled translatory powers the buttons start to make sense. At least, that's been my experience.

    Though never, ever use one in the airport departure lounge just prior to the flight. There in lies potential sogginess and great and enduring woe.

    The one at my parents-in-law packed up once causing an impromptu water feature, no end of chaos and family distress and required the services of a highly qualified toilet technician. Imagine that as a job title - Senior Bog-Tech.

    1. Alien8n Silver badge

      Re: You're doing it wrong

      Toilet technician? How does that rate against Telephone Sanitiser?

      1. magickmark

        Re: You're doing it wrong

        "Toilet technician? How does that rate against Telephone Sanitiser?"

        Somewhere between a Management Consultant and a Hairdresser?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: You're doing it wrong

          It's a well paid job. Everyone I met was flush.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: You're doing it wrong

      The Germans lost a submarine in WWII because the toilet technician had a heart attack, and somone trying to do his job pressed all the wrong buttons and flooded it.

      1. Paul Woodhouse

        Re: You're doing it wrong

        I thought that was because the captain did a REALLY nasty log and was too embarrassed to call the bog technician to flush so tried to do it himself and got it wrong...

  25. Drone Pilot

    3 shells

    ...is becoming a reality now

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Buttnote

    Surely?

  27. src

    These toilets are awesome

    I can claim some standing in this area as I live in Japan and own of those washlets. They are awesome and easy to operate once you know the Japanese for "arse" and "stop". It is the only way to feel really clean if you are squeezing out a slow shit the day after eating an extra spicy tantanmen.

    Every home should have one.

  28. hatti

    I can't imagine why you'd need a smart loo, it's normally a fire and forget device.

    Perhaps it could remind you what you ate for dinner the previous evening and suggest complimentary recipes to assist with a healthy diet?

    1. Mephistro Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      "...it's normally a fire and forget device."

    2. TRT Silver badge

      There are special toilets...

      in hospitals. With little shelves in them to catch various items. Like poo in need of inspection, or babies in the maternity block.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There are special toilets...

        " With little shelves in them to catch various items."

        Is that little shelf still the standard toilet bowl in Germany?

        IIRC In "Fear of Flying" (1973) Erica Jong made the comment that when travelling in Germany there was a pervasive smell - owing to the toilet design and the use of pig manure on fields.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There are special toilets...

          "IIRC In "Fear of Flying" (1973) Erica Jong made the comment that when travelling in Germany there was a pervasive smell - owing to the toilet design and the use of pig manure on fields."

          That book is not for the squeamish. Jong seemed to be fascinated by bodily function smells. It's instructive, in the way that a maintenance manual for a marine toilet is instructive but with added descriptions of sex.

  29. Sleep deprived
    IT Angle

    What's your next major discovery?

    That they sell cartons of hard-boiled eggs in Swiss supermarkets?

  30. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

    Remote?

    When my son lived in Korea, his apartment had one of these, with a remote.

    Why would you have both armrest controls AND a remote?

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Remote?

      "Why would you have both armrest controls AND a remote?"

      Old people's homes. The assistant can operate the cleaning cycle without having to reach around the elderly person. This also explains the blow dry models.

  31. thomas k

    "Not to worry, thought I."

    Famous last words.

  32. Archibear

    The best alternative...

    ... is clearly the neck of a swan.

  33. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Some things shouldn't require a manual, but there you are.

  34. Wilseus

    We have a few of these electronic bogs at my work. Everything is written in English, but still I always actively avoid them even to use as a normal toilet? Why? Because of the seat heater. Unless it's your own toilet, there's nothing worse than sitting down on a warm toilet seat!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Unless it's your own toilet, there's nothing worse than sitting down on a warm toilet seat!"

      Public (private) schools in the UK used to have a practice called "fagging". Senior boys would be given the privilege of having younger boys at their beck and call. Menial tasks - like putting coal on their study fire or making tea and toast. One such task was the preparatory warming of the toilet seat on a winter's morning.

      A relatively modern example of the fagging system can be seen in the opening 5 minutes of Lindsay Anderson's film "IF...." (1968).

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mufpDXIss5A

  35. rkdarwin13

    Best read of my life

    Far and away, this dissertation on the complexity, challenge and subsequent triumph of the human spirit versus forces both malevolent and technological, fills me with hope for the future.

  36. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    While we're here...

    I couldn't resist pointing out that those suffering 'toilet tech envy' can upgrade their own standard bog to a light up in the dark one, using this simple kit.

    http://www.lightinthebox.com/brelong-motion-activated-toilet-nightlight-led-toilet-light-bathroom-washroom_p5131747.html

    <fx="Beavis'n'Butthead">He said 'motion activated'. Heh Heh. Heh. Heh.</fx>

  37. Ilsa Loving
    Joke

    Cigar clipper?

    If you use your butt to clip your cigars, I think that goes far in explaining your difficulties in using a bidet. Among many others things that we probably don't need to hear about.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cigar clipper?

      People have all kinds of strange smoking habits … including arsing about with cigars.

  38. TRT Silver badge

    Funnily when it was first installed...

    they did hang a multi-lingual user manual on a piece of string just next to the toilet. I wondered what became of it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Funnily when it was first installed...

      A piece of string was a luxury - we only had a nail hammered in the door.

      It only takes a whiff of burning paraffin to take me back to my distant childhood. Catching up on yesterday's news by the light of a paraffin lamp in the winter. The only problem was finding the continuation piece for a split article.

  39. W4YBO

    Oh well...

    I've laughed my ass off at these comments, so now what do I do with my Swash 1000?

    (Great bidet seat, heated, with landing lights for use in the dark.)

  40. Dippywood

    Warm Seats

    I have always thought that the only thing worse than a cold seat is a warm one, since that normally implies that you are a follow-on visitor...

    That said, having encountered one of these beasties some years ago in a Japanese-owned hotel in Vietnam, I was left thinking that a small screen on the cubicle door running an animated instructional video might be amusing - just think of the fun one could have with the graphics!

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Warm Seats

      "I was left thinking that a small screen on the cubicle door running an animated instructional video might be amusing - just think of the fun one could have with the graphics!"

      I remember the Cummings factory in Pune in around 1980 had something in the toilets that was not to be found in the Glasgow one - a pictorial guide on cubicle walls on how to use a Western style toilet. Regrettably, I did not have a camera with me at the time.

  41. ap011013

    Chevron 7 locked

    Unscheduled offworld activation - ewwwww.....

  42. War President
    Coat

    You man needs to man up, or press the 弱 (weaker) button repeatedly, until he stops crying. I've purchased one for my home and it's great. Saves on expense of toilet paper and leaves me, well, much more sanitary. Mine has the hair dryer, er, blow dryer.

    Don't think it's worth it? Do your business the old fashioned way, flush the toilet, check that it's clean, now use the washlet, look in bowl before flushing. Yes, disgusting.

    Mine's the one that doesn't smell like poop at the rear...

  43. Schultz
    Happy

    Ever used a Walkman, CD player, another Japanese gadget?

    The Stop button is denoted with a rectangle (■). As for the rest of the buttons, it never hurts to know a few dozen Chinese characters; 水 for water, 强大 for strong, or 弱 for weak. You could look those up (Google translator) in the time your bum gets restored to spanking clean.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Toilet Solving Flowsheet

    1.Does the Damn thing works as intended? - Yes (go to point 5), No (go to point 1)

    2.Did you Fuck with it? - Yes (go to point 3), No (go to point 4)

    3.You Dumb Shit (go to point 5)

    4.Don't Fuck with it (go to point 5)

    5.Wip your face/ass now (go to point 6)

    6.It works as intended

  45. mhenriday
    Boffin

    Once a Reg man, always a Reg man

    And I'd certainly never expect one such to be able to read the glyphs 停止, for «Stop», but even for a Reg man, that red square on the proper button should have been a giveaway. Besides, if, as he should, he had accepted his lack of technical expertise in this particular situation, he could simply have used the toilet bowl as a toilet bowl and refrained from punching any buttons....

    Imagine the difficulties he would have experienced if, like your humble interlocutor, he had come to Japan in the early 1960s, when toilets were a hole in the floor lined with porcelain, and one was expected to squat to perform one's excretory functions. At that time, as I remember it, about the only generally available sit toilets in Tokyo were to be found in the Imperial Hotel....

    Henri

  46. heyrick Silver badge

    The labels were entirely in Japanese.

    Too hard to fire up Google translate on a mobile and point the camera at the wiggly squiggles?

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