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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


The End of the World

The End of the World
Originally uploaded by timtak.

This, the most infamous of Japanese toilet, is basically a hole in the ground. Can you see the large mosquitoes swarming around the hole waiting to bite bear bottom?

No there are no handles, and yes this is a problem. When there is a flush, sometimes I have grasped the flush pipes to keep myself up and to stand up afterwards but in this flush-free "pot'ton" (the name for this toilet is an onomatopoeic word for the sound that the dump makes as it flies downwards to a landing) variety there is nothing to hold onto at all.

Have you seen an early version of the movie "Mutiny on the Bounty?" The cruel Captain Bligh ordered that drinking water should be available only from a certain spot on the yard arm. All those that could not climb up into the rigging to receive water were deemed not fit to receive sustenance. Many died. Perhaps the Japanese toilet is another evolutionary hurdle. Those that cannot rise from their stool shall be doomed to toiletry oblivion?

All in all it is very harsh. I think that the Japanese must be have been very fit to use them.

I lived in accommodation where this was the only style that there was for a number of years. I had to learn. While I don't particularly like the squat, it seemed sort of healthy, like Yoga crossed with aroma therapy.

The random, non-geometrical nature of the tiling on the floor, may have something in common with the natural, asymmetrical form of the Japanese Garden, as opposed to Geometric Western style garden, as well as facilitating the camouflage soiling on the floor.

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.