Although public health officials in Thailand recently went to work removing squat toilets from their country due to concerns about users developing arthritis in their knees, an article that has recently been published in Rocket News, curiously, makes the opposite argument for these devices. Or, at least for their continued use in Japan.
While the source explains that Japan is internationally known for technological advancements and novelty value when it comes to toilets, not everyone realizes that traditional squat toilets can still be seen frequently in Japanese homes. Instead of worrying that chronic squatting may have the same effect on legs that long periods of typing have on wrists, the source says that it is thought in Japan that squatting instead of sitting may offer health benefits. Supposedly, the squatting position is a more natural angle for the organs designed to evacuate waste from the body. Rocket News attributes the notion that squat toilets could lessen the odds of the user developing colon cancer to an Irish surgeon named Denis Burkitt. It cannot be surmised how Burkitt would respond to the actions and findings of Thai health officials, as multiple sources say that he passed away in 1993.
On an interesting note, Rocket News also explains that Japanese toilets and bathing areas aren't usually kept as closely together that they traditionally are in the U.S. This is thought to improve sanitation and efficiency.
The latest in Japanese toilet innovation
On the other end of the Japanese spectrum of toilets we find a new novelty toilet that's in the mold of a remote-controlled car. The company responsible has made no bones about their motivation for creating such an odd product.
"Why? Because this is Japan. That's why!" the manufactures proudly proclaim.
A follow-up report from CNet goes into greater detail. It notes that the "Remote Control Japanese Style Toilet" - not unlike previous innovations from the Land of the Rising Sun, including a toilet that doubles as a soccer goalie and another that resembled a motorcycle - isn't intended to be used in the same manner as a real toilet.
On the other hand, the source notes that it could be used for purposes like moving 8 oz cans of beverages from one side of a room to another, or to give dogs and cats something to play with. It just goes to show how bathroom decor and innovations can sometimes cross over into fun gags for party guests to wrap their heads around.
Labels: Toilets and Bidets