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Strange Daze: World’s Going Down the Japanese Toilet Edition

As you approach the toilet, the lid raises with a gentle glow to illuminate your way. The seat is heated for those chillier winter months, and a console of buttons allows you to dial in specific preferences including the pressure on calibrated water spray that keeps things, shall we say, hygienic. The brand has seemingly thought of everything—from ambient sounds to mask unsavory sounds in more public environments, to anti-germ treatments, and even a dryer function.

“If you are not engaged in active offense or defense, besides patrolling for intelligence, and counter-patrolling to deny the enemy same, you should be improving your position. Dig, wire, mine, and resupply, at all other times, to the limit of available resources.” – Aesop’s Art Of War

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“Safetyism” is the ideology that locks up 80 million children for a year lest ten of them die of a disease most are immune to. “Safetyism” is the ideology that neuters all comedy, lest a few miserable, humorless creatures be offended by the wit of others. “Safetyism” is the Harrison Bergeron worldview that tears down the talented, the brilliant, and the beautiful lest their excellence cause distress to the wretched and mediocre.

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  • Double on Tundra September 25, 2021, 9:32 AM

    Some years ago I while studying in Tokyo I encountered my first toilet remote control. Many of its functions were apparent from the graphics on its buttons, and were further explained by the kanji characters below them.

    I am happy to report that every button I tried seemed to work. The jet of warm water was startlingly accurate, for example.

    One button had a kanji label which to my limited Japanese capability appeared to mean “cut”. I left that one alone.

    • Mike Austin September 25, 2021, 9:35 AM

      “One button had a kanji label which to my limited Japanese capability appeared to mean “cut”. I left that one alone.”

      A wise decision.

    • James ONeil September 25, 2021, 9:59 AM

      Ah Japan, where the houses aren’t heated but the toilet seats are.

      I remember one in a small restaurant near Saitama when when you open the bathroom door the toilet lid popped up with a musical fanfare and it cheerfully says hello and welcome.

      • Mike Austin September 25, 2021, 10:03 AM

        That would have scared the shit out of me.

        • Double on Tundra September 25, 2021, 10:32 AM

          TOTO’s cleaning function would prove its value at that point.

        • Sam L. September 25, 2021, 2:34 PM

          You didn’t sing along?????????

    • PA Cat September 25, 2021, 10:29 AM

      The Japanese are also world leaders in designing cat toilets with a refined appearance. Found on ebay: “Cat toilet white Petit from IRIS OHYAMA Japan.”

      Inscrutable translation-English description: “[Cat litter box that does not scatter sand]: A cat litter box that cats love to dive and climb. Cat sand does not scatter and the odor does not spread easily.
      [It doesn’t scatter even if it’s full]: Because it has a depth, the cat sand doesn’t scatter even if the cat is crunchy.
      [The dent on the lid catches the sand]: There is a dent on the lid, and the cat sand that is caught between the paws is dropped, so the cat sand does not scatter.”


      The IRIS OHYAMA cat toilet also comes in black and orange, in case Gerard wants to give Olive a litter box that she will love to dive and climb even when she’s crunchy.

    • Daniel K Day September 25, 2021, 2:30 PM

      DoT, the “Cut” stood for “Turn off”, but one understands your caution.

      • Double on Tundra September 25, 2021, 4:38 PM

        You are right, of course. I had a laugh at my own expense when I eventually learned that.

  • Mike Austin September 25, 2021, 9:34 AM

    More “Shit White People Do”:

    1. Knock off the Inca and Aztec Civilizations comprising millions and millions of Indigenous, and do it with a few hundred men in a matter of months.

    The White Boys would have swatted down the Maya, but that civilization was already 600 years gone.

    2. Meet in a Berlin room in 1885 and carve up Africa. No Africans were present. The borders made there are still the borders today.

    3. Float around the entire globe in the 1500s because…well, just because.

    4. Invent the Fender Telecaster. (1951)

    5. End slavery around the world.

    You’re welcome.

    • Kevin in PA September 25, 2021, 10:58 AM

      It’s a world full of bloody ingrates, I tell you!

      • Mike Austin September 25, 2021, 11:54 AM

        And on the other hand.

        Stuff “White People Don’t Do”:

        1. March 20,000 prisoners up pyramids, cut out their hearts, flay them and wear the skins, sell the remains in the market place—all in two weeks. (Ahuitzotl c. 1500)

        2. Stick a sea urchin spine through the penis and let the blood drip upon a husk of corn. (Mayan kings)

        3. Club 100 schoolkids to death then devour their flesh. (Bokassa, 1979)

        4. Slaughter 200,000 Chinese in two weeks with swords, axes and shovels. (The Japs in the Nanjing Massacre, 1937)

        5. Burn Catholic nuns to death. (Those pesky Japs again 1941 – 1945

        6. Sack Baghdad, level every building, kill hundreds of thousands of people, build temples of human skulls. (Hulagu Khan, 1258)

        7. Murder 500,000 of your fellows. Eat some of their flesh. (Idi Amin, ruler of Uganda 1971 – 1979)

        8. Muder 100,000,000 of your fellows from 1949 – 1976. (Mao. That’s almost 400,000 a month for 27 years.)

        White Lives Matter.

        • Dirk September 26, 2021, 8:36 AM

          Actually White lives do matter. Some would call your date line progress.

          The only real commonality in your line, is every bodies a human. Skin pigment isn’t the common factor.

          Slaughter is history. Not saying it’s right, it just is!


          • Mike Austin September 27, 2021, 8:12 AM

            “Slaughter is history. Not saying it’s right, it just is!”

            Certainly, but usually Whites must be provoked into such things. December 7, 1941. 9/11. King Philip’s War (1675 – 78). And so on. The normal state of the Whites is to: make money; build stuff; watch baseball; raise kids; create nation states; conquer the world. Freedom is taken as a matter of course.

            And lurking behind all of these things is this: Whites have created the most fearsome, homicidal and terrifying killing machines in History: the Spartan hoplites, the Macedonian Phalanx, the Roman Legions, the USS Carl Vinson. Nothing put together by any other race can possible match it. Bitch slapping the Inca and Aztec with a few hundred men—no problem. Conquering all of Africa using pith helmets, funny uniforms and the Maxim Gun—easy peasy. Forcing all of China to become opium addicts—done in three years. Bringing the entire world under military, political and economic domination—only a century.

            It is then no wonder that the horrifying wars are those in which Whites fight each other. Compared to such wars the “Flower Wars” of the Aztecs, the Mfecane of Shaka Zulu and the depredations of the Plains Indians upon other Indians are walks in the park suitable for angry Girl Scouts.

            When one thinks of the greatest captains in History the list is composed entirely of White Boys: Caesar, Alexander, Napoleon, Hannibal, Patton, Belisarius, Scipio, and so on.

            No other race has done anything like these taken as a whole. Blacks and Western Hemisphere Indigenous and Asians have never cared a whit for Liberty. Every one of them save for a tiny percentage of a percentage was born into slavery, lived their lives in slavery and died in slavery. Their standard mode of governments have been grimy tyrannies.

            And I have not even mentioned Art, Music and Literature. Same story. No Mozarts in Asia. No Michelangelos among the Apaches. No Shakespeares in Africa.

            As Henry II said, “It’s great to be king!”

    • PA Cat September 25, 2021, 5:11 PM

      Mike– you left out a few things people of pallor do:
      6. Invent beer, baseball, and kitty litter. Here’s to Ed Lowe, a WWII vet and the inventor of clay kitty litter: https://disposableamerica.org/cat-litter/edward-lowe/

      • Mike Austin September 25, 2021, 6:09 PM

        I could have written all day and all night—and the next day and the next night, ad infinitum. I have never given cat litter a thought, as I am a dog guy. My younger brother was the athlete in the family, so when he played baseball I had to play. I came to hate baseball—and all team sports—with a white hot passion. Still do. Never had one ounce of talent in sports. All I can do is teach, play the blues guitar and write.

        Now beer! What was it that Franklin said, that beer was proof that God loved His creation. The “pallor people” also invented wine and whiskey. God bless ’em! Those White Folks also invented the bicycle, without which I would have to walk everywhere, as I have no car. Or truck. Or motorcycle. I have legs though, and at 68 they still work fairly well.

  • James ONeil September 25, 2021, 9:49 AM

    Re, Gary Barnett’s Our New Normal:

    Interesting links at the bottom of his essay and one needs remember; Just ’cause he’s/me’s more than a wee
    bit paranoid doesn’t mean they’s not out to get him/me/you/us!

    & hum, I wonder if grammatically incorrect sentencing is one of the first signs of infection or simply don’tgiveadamn, goin’ my way, not the herd’s way. -grin-

  • gwbnyc September 25, 2021, 10:55 AM

    no one ever pisses on the the keyboard.

    no one.


  • azlibertarian September 25, 2021, 11:33 AM

    Last year after we were all hoarding the toilet paper, my first thought was to upgrade our “throne room” to a Japanese model. I’ve travelled to Tokyo frequently and the hotel where I stay has those things. I like ’em….they’re the best way to “go”, if you ask me. We’ve still got a stack of those Costco thirty-packs of TP nearly as tall as I am, but I haven’t done the upgrade yet.

    Gonna have to get on that.

  • nunnya bidnez, jr September 25, 2021, 12:18 PM

    Here’s an interesting cat litter box..
    “….. you’ll need an electrical outlet and a cold-water hookup. …. Instead of actual litter, it uses septic-safe washable granules that never need changing. When your cat goes to the bathroom, urine drains through the granules, and solid waste is liquified and flushed away. After that, a sanitizing solution cleans the granules and tray. And just like that, it’s ready for another use. …”
    I’m probably spending $400 a year on litter, plus the hassle of dragging those 20 pound boxes home from the store, so maybe this is a good solution. Anyone here have any experience with this unit, or similar self-cleaning litter boxes?

  • Casey Klahn September 25, 2021, 1:41 PM

    I upgraded my shitter but I used the Finnish design concepts. You do NOT want to know the shitters I saw in japan. I will admit, I did experience the first auto-flush urinal in japan and it felt weird having the urinal looking at my junk. Also, they had 2 signs on 2 different floors: one said “lestroom,” and the other: “toiret”. That is the honest truth.

    Defense: establish security, establish commo, send out patrols. Improve. Establish commo includes tie-in with your flanking friendly elements, and communicate with higher and lower (LP/OP and forward observation posts).

    White people ended slavery. Damn that factoid is a keeper.

    • ghostsniper September 25, 2021, 3:02 PM

      Some bars in Germany, circa 1970’s, had pissers that was a walk in room, no door, about 8’x8’x8′ with 2″ hexagon tiles on the floor, walls and ceiling, all white. Along 2 walls and a corner was a gutter in the floor tiles about 8″ wide and ran continuous along those 2 walls. About 3′ above the gutters, on the walls, about every 2 feet, were tiny chrome faucets that trickled down the wall continuously. Self flushing, all the time. You don’t have to touch anything, just walk right up, whip it out, let it loose, shake vigorously, retract, haul ass. simple Clean up would be simple too. Just a high velocity water hose, with maybe a clorox infuser hook up. Our next house will have a wall mounted urinal. I’m doing more and more of them in custom homes. The cost is usually less than a shitter.

      • Andrew R September 26, 2021, 9:02 AM

        Dad took the family to Europe in 1970. I was 10 years old. I had to use the men’s just outside Neuschwanstein Castle, went in, saw just tile walls with a small trough at the bottom and went back out to get Dad to confirm that you peed up against the wall. He laughed and confirmed it. Relieved, I then relieved myself.

  • Vanderleun September 25, 2021, 2:06 PM

    The editor of American Digest and I cannot say enough good things about the Petsafe Scoopfree Automatic.

    Amazon.com: PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Self Cleaning Cat Litter Box, Includes Disposable Trays with Crystal Litter : Everything Else

    It’s about a hundred and a half going in and the replacement trays come at $20 a pop so figure around $200/year for the refills.

    But the benefit is that
    1) You never smell it.
    2) You never touch it.
    3) You never even see it.
    4) It blows your cat’s mind because the cat knows itsx shit is somewhere around that box but it just can’t figure out where it goes.

    A superior product that performs without flaw.

    But the cost is a factor that you have to weigh against your fecal-aversion.

    A much cheaper but effective alternative (One that I used for several years before the Hide-a-Turd system above) is the Purina Tidy Cats Hooded Litter Box System.

    Amazon.com: Purina Tidy Cats Hooded Litter Box System, Breeze Hooded System Starter Kit Litter Box, Litter Pellets & Pads : Pet Supplies

    This is fifty bucks going in and about ten bucks a bag for the pellets and pennies for the diapers in the urine tray. This system is also effective in eliminating the smell and most of the look too. You do have to sift the dessicated turdlets out with a scoop every so often but that’s easily done and eliminated.

    • Mike Austin September 25, 2021, 3:21 PM

      Yet another device dreamed up by White Men. Let’s order thousands to give our new Haitian and Afghan brethren a hand.

    • Dirk September 26, 2021, 8:42 AM

      I lost my old cat last week. Scot had been going down hill for a few years. Can’t tell you how many time she tried to scratch a poop hole in the floor and squeeze one off, I diligently clean it mess up.

      Not sure if it’s out of respect for the old cat, or that I know my days coming.

      Scotty left in the middle of the night last week, I searched all day for her, want to bury her with all our other pets, along the back fence. Not to be the case. Shit I have tears now.


  • Vanderleun September 25, 2021, 2:15 PM

    As for you Casey, a giant-sized litter box might be just the thing for you on those nights when you are riding the perimeter where you need to be silent but deadly.

    • Casey Klahn September 26, 2021, 12:03 AM

      Then there was the time this West Pointer didn’t think I was far enough out from the APC, and capped off the .50 cal (blanks are louder than fugg) right over my head. I didn’t shit for a month.

      Don’t make me tell you how we got our group shit off Mt Rainier in the 90s. Large gauge PVC pipe; guides carry that down.

      Don’t start shit with me. (shifts uncomfortably in his seat)

      • Vanderleun September 26, 2021, 7:16 AM

        I’m putting yu in for MREs made entirely of “Aztec Gold.”

  • PA Cat September 25, 2021, 8:33 PM

    Gerard truly brings out– well, something– in this crew of commenters. Where else on the Web could you find a blog that draws humans from a wide range of backgrounds, geographic locations, work histories, and enthusiasms to discuss the finer points of cat toilets and compare Japanese, Finnish, and German “throne rooms”?

    • Mike Austin September 26, 2021, 3:58 AM

      Where else? Nowhere else!

      Reading Gerard since Scipio Returned. (An inside joke. Gerard knows.)

      • Vanderleun September 26, 2021, 7:16 AM

        I wish Scipio would return now.

        • Mike Austin September 27, 2021, 9:16 AM

          He thinks about it daily. Nothing to fear now since: He is very comfortably retired and thus has nothing to fear from irate bosses or Karen-type colleagues or Esquire Magazine writers. And since he has ended his six year relationship with that 20 year-old model—I insisted she “do the right thing”, dump me and carry on the race by getting married and having kids (she’s 26 now)—I am the most free I’ve been in my life. And I have spent much of my life making freedom a lifestyle.

          Freedom to ride a bike 1000 miles (my last ride was 1600 miles), taking only a tent, a flask (not whiskey, rum) and a .40 Smith & Wesson to get me through unpleasant encounters; freedom to read all day; freedom to nap all day; and freedom to write all day.

          He will decide soon and very soon.

          More anon.

  • Annie Rose September 26, 2021, 6:51 AM

    We’ve had kitties for many years. Our current set up is a blue rubber maid container sans lid, with a curved cut out on one side. We went to this when our elderly cat was being stalked in the litter box by our younger cat to the point he felt too nervous to use the litter box any more and began going outside of the box. The high sides contained the flying sand and gave him a wall so he felt protected. It’s also very roomy, which cats like. Favorite litter is fresh step clumping without the febreeze, although that’s getting very hard to find. I think the next shortage will be kitty litter, so plan accordingly for your little friends. Zero odor because we scoop it every night when we take out the trash.

    • PA Cat September 26, 2021, 11:42 AM

      Annie– I had to start ordering kitty litter online for my two Feline Americans when the local supermarket stopped carrying their usual type (they like litter made from pine sawdust) at the beginning of the two-weeks-to-flatten-the-curve nonsense in 2020. I had a stash of several 20-lb. bags, but I knew by the end of last summer I’d have to locate a good source online. So far it’s worked out well– the company I use makes it easy to set up scheduled deliveries, they’ve been reliable, and the litter costs no more than what my supermarket charged. But you are so right about the importance of planning ahead for our “little friends”– some cats are picky about the type of litter that goes into their box– and as my vet said, if they don’t like what their human uses as filler, they have ways of letting you know.

  • flannelputz September 26, 2021, 4:44 PM

    “sift the desiccated turdlets”???
    That is gonna take years of therapy to move past.

  • jwm September 27, 2021, 8:47 AM

    So now we’re on to the finer points of feline sanitation. Late last Thursday night I spotted a big old owl perched up on the phone pole overlooking the yard. Some years back, an owl took out my pudgy old Manx, Booger. After we lost Littlecat to a coyote, Ol’ Buddy, and Skinnies got put on house arrest from sundown till about eight in the morning. Had to get a litter box. Buddy the Cat still kicks litter all over the floor. I’ll swear he does it to spite me. I don’t mind the mess. It’s easier to sweep a little sand than bury a cat.


    • PA Cat September 27, 2021, 11:20 AM

      jwm– Litter kicking happens because cats are taught (usually by their momcat) to cover their poop before leaving the box. My vet says it’s the result of evolution– cats learned to cover their outdoor “deposits” to hide their scent from predators. Even so, some cats are more enthusiastic litter box Rockettes than others. My Coco is like the Frenchwoman she was named for– gets in the box, does her business with minimal fuss, and gets out as quickly and discreetly as possible. Casey, on the other hand, gets in, dances around like Tug McGraw on the pitcher’s mound, and rattles the litter for a couple of minutes because he likes the sound the pine pellets make. The litter I use doesn’t scatter outside the box as much as clay litter because the pine pellets are fairly large.
      Other possibilities: how large is the litter box you bought for Buddy? I have extra-large litter boxes for my cats– they like having plenty of room to move around and the litter is more likely to stay inside the box. The other question: how tall are the sides of Buddy’s litter box? Sometimes just getting a box with higher sides cuts down on the scatter problem.
      I certainly agree with you that it’s better to clean litter off the floor than to lose a cat! Best wishes for ongoing good health to Buddy and the Skinamalink.

      • ghostsniper September 28, 2021, 4:48 AM

        pine pellets
        10 years or so ago we converted 100% to 40 pound bags of Equine Pine for our 4 cats. Our biggest gurl, Caramel, had started coughing from the dust in the clay stuff. At about $5.69 for 40 pounds the pine is much less expensive, though carrying the bags gets old.

        For litter boxes we have 4 large high walled Rubbermaid totes sans the lids. Works well. The high walls has eliminated the possibility for our little one, Sparkle, to balance on the edge as she conducts business. Gotta be smarter than the cat.

  • jwm September 28, 2021, 6:06 AM

    Ghostsniper says: Gotta be smarter than the cat.
    As soon as I get there I’ll let y’all know.
    And thanks, PA Cat. I got the great big, high wall, complete with a cover and swinging door litter box. But Ol’ Buddy the Cat is a big critter, and very determined to get his shit well buried. He does the same out in the yard.
    Cats. (sigh)