Japan agrees to standardize the function symbols of its toilets to help confused tourists

midian182

Posts: 5,678   +43
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You would imagine that most toilets across the world aren’t very difficult to use, but that’s not always the case in Japan. The country has long had a reputation for having toilets so technologically advanced that they often confuse foreign visitors. Now, travelers should find going to the bathroom in the Asian nation a lot simpler, after the Japan Restroom Industry Association agreed to standardize their symbols.

As reported by The Verge, a consortium of companies that includes Toto, Panasonic, and Toshiba will unify the iconography found in the control panels of Japanese toilets to help bewildered, frightened tourists, who often don’t know if they’re about to flush something away or blast it back up whence it came.

“Until now, manufacturers have adopted pictograms that seem to be optimal,” wrote the association, “but when foreign tourists use public toilets such as at hotels and sightseeing facilities, it is difficult to understand the operation buttons.”

From top left to bottom right, the symbols represent: large flush, small flush, raise the lid, raise the seat, stop, rear spray, bidet, and dry.

Japan wants to make its bathrooms more welcoming as the country prepares for an influx of visitors heading for the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo. Not understanding how they worked and what functions the symbols represented were tourists' top complaints about Japanese toilets, so hopefully the new icons will address these issues and create “a toilet environment that anyone can use with peace of mind.”

In other Japanese bathroom-related news, it was reported last month that the country’s Narita Airport had introduced toilet paper for smartphones, letting stall users clean their screens after answering the call of nature.

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Skidmarksdeluxe

Posts: 8,645   +3,281
In my last visit to Japan, I did find some of the controls difficult to fathom at first but I quickly got used to them, although I could see some folk from some backwater communities quickly heading off to the nearest hardware store, pinching their buttocks, to buy a shovel instead.
 

namesrejected

Posts: 398   +302
I have seen much easier to understand symbols for all those functions in "port-a-pots" on construction sites in the USA.
 

IAMTHESTIG

Posts: 1,868   +900
Japan Restroom Industry Association... is that anything like the Toilet Safety Administration in the US?

It really is high time we catch up with toilet tech, it seems quite archaic wiping ones anus with paper.
 
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wiyosaya

Posts: 5,129   +3,219
Japan Restroom Industry Association... is that anything like the Toilet Safety Administration in the US?

It really is high time we catch up with toilet tech, it seems quite archaic wiping ones anus with paper.
Toilet Safety Administration? Trump campaign promise? Oh, South Park!

Personally, I would rather wipe my butt than sit there for god knows how long while some hot air fan dries it after using the bidet.
 

BadThad

Posts: 269   +165
Japan Restroom Industry Association... is that anything like the Toilet Safety Administration in the US?

It really is high time we catch up with toilet tech, it seems quite archaic wiping ones anus with paper.
I've been saying that for decades! Here's an analogy I give people:

I'm going to make you a sandwich. First, I pickup a turd and smash it with my bare hand. I wipe it off with some paper towels and make your sandwich. Then, I pickup another turd, smash it, wash my hands with water and make another sandwich.

Which sandwich would you rather eat?
 
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Reehahs

Posts: 817   +528
In my last visit to Japan, I did find some of the controls difficult to fathom at first but I quickly got used to them, although I could see some folk from some backwater communities quickly heading off to the nearest hardware store, pinching their buttocks, to buy a shovel instead.
With this tech in every toilet you will be thing of the past.
 

IAMTHESTIG

Posts: 1,868   +900
I've been saying that for decades! Here's an analogy I give people:

I'm going to make you a sandwich. First, I pickup a turd and smash it with my bare hand. I wipe it off with some paper towels and make your sandwich. Then, I pickup another turd, smash it, wash my hands with water and make another sandwich.

Which sandwich would you rather eat?
Neither! Use soap you damn hobo! :)
 
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