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Why do Japanese use squat toilets?

1. Introduction

Squat toilets are a common sight in many countries around the world, but they are especially prevalent in Japan. Squat toilets, also known as “Japanese-style toilets” or “Asian-style toilets”, are a type of toilet that requires users to squat instead of sitting. Though these types of toilets can be found in other parts of the world, it is particularly popular in Japan and other Asian countries.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why Japanese people prefer to use squat toilets over regular Western-style seated ones. We will look at the history of squat toilets in Japan, the different types available, and their benefits for hygiene and comfort. We will also discuss how cultural norms play a role in their popularity and what the future may hold for these unique fixtures.

Japanese Snack Box

2. History of Squat Toilets in Japan

The use of squat toilets can be traced back to ancient times when they were used by people living in rural areas across Asia and Europe. However, it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that Japanese people began using them regularly. During this time period, Western-style seated toilets were introduced to Japan but they weren’t widely accepted due to their cost and difficulty installing them into traditional Japanese homes which had smaller bathrooms than those found in Western countries.

It wasn’t until after World War II that seated toilets became more common in Japan as part of an effort to modernize the country’s infrastructure and public facilities. Even so, squat toilets continued to remain popular among many households due to their ease of installation and affordability compared to seated models.

3. Types of Squat Toilets

There are two main types of squat toilet commonly found in Japan: “western-style” (with a raised platform) and “eastern-style” (without a raised platform). The western-style is typically used by elderly people or those with disabilities who find it difficult or uncomfortable to bend down low enough for an eastern-style model. Both styles have variations such as built-in bidets or heated seats which provide additional comfort for users during cold winter months.

4. Benefits of Squat Toilets

Squat toilets offer several benefits over regular seated models such as improved hygiene and comfort levels for users due to their design which places less strain on the user’s legs when using them compared to seated models which require more effort from users when sitting down or getting up from them repeatedly throughout the day.Additionally, squatting helps reduce constipation by putting pressure on abdominal muscles which helps with digestion while also helping with bladder control due to its angle which allows easier emptying than a standing position would allow for some individuals with certain medical conditions such as incontinence or weak pelvic floor muscles.

5 Hygiene and Comfort Factors

In addition to providing health benefits related to digestion and bladder control, squatting has been shown to help improve hygiene levels by reducing contact with surfaces such as toilet seats which can harbor bacteria if not cleaned properly between uses.This is especially beneficial during cold winter months when people tend not wear shoes indoors where contact with these surfaces is inevitable unless they wear slippers specifically designed for use inside bathrooms.Furthermore, since there is no need for a raised seat like regular western style models have,there is less risk for accidents caused by slipping off them.Lastly,since there is no need for water pipes or electricity connections,installation costs can be kept lower than regular western style models.

6 Cultural Norms

The popularity of squatting amongst Japanese people may also be attributed partly due cultural norms that emphasize cleanliness,modesty,and respect.These values are deeply ingrained within traditional Japanese culture making it much more likely that people would prefer using a toilet system that promotes these values rather than one that does not.In addition,many public establishments such as train stations,airports,hotels,restaurants etc.. typically have both types available giving customers more choice depending on personal preference or physical ability.

7 Modernization and the Future of Squat Toilets in Japan

Though modern advances have made it possible for more households across Japan to install regular Western style seated models into their homes,many still prefer using squatting type fixtures due its convenience,affordability,hygiene levels,health benefits etc.. This trend is unlikely change anytime soon as long as these factors remain important considerations amongst consumers.Furthermore,even though some public establishments have begun replacing their existing fixtures with newer ones featuring advanced features such as automatic flushing systems,heated seats etc.. most still retain at least one type each facility making sure everyone has an option regardless if they prefer sitting or squatting when going about their business.

8 Conclusion

Squatting has been a part of Japanese culture since ancient times but its popularity has only grown over time thanks its convenience affordability compared regular western style models along with improved hygiene levels offered by them.In addition cultural norms emphasizing cleanliness modesty respect also play an important role ensuring that this particular fixture remains popular among both young old alike regardless if they live urban rural areas alike.As long these factors continue being important considerations amongst consumers then its unlikely we will see any major changes happening anytime soon when comes use this particular type fixture across country overall.

9 Sources Cited


– “Types Of Toilet Used In Different Countries.” The Plumbette Accessed 23 April 2021
– “Toilets Around The World.” Hostelworld Accessed 23 April 2021
– “Why Do Japanese People Prefer Squat Toilets?” Quora Accessed 23 April 2021
– “The Advantages Of A Squat Toilet Over A Seated One.” Healthfully Accessed 23 April 2021

What is the purpose of a squat toilet?

Studies show that when people use position-changing machines they walk faster than they sit. They also strain less and have fuller bowels than when they sit on the toilet. By making it easier to poop squatting can relieve constipation and stop hemorrhoids which are often caused by straining.

Are squat toilets better for you?

Studies show that people who squat have less stress and take less time to get up (Sikirov 2003). Other studies suggest that squatting during defecation reduces abdominal pressure requiring less effort to defecate in this position (Tashiro et al.).

Are squat toilets sanitary?

Reclining urinals are more hygienic because children do not need to touch the toilet seat to avoid direct contact with objects that can transmit seeds. The dirt around Asias squat toilets may tell a different story but its definitely not where you get your booty.

Why are some Japanese toilets on the floor?

In the thirteenth century Japanese mostly farmers began to use waste from these toilets as fertilizer. Traditional Japanese toilets have a pit or basin in the floor and are designed for sitting rather than sitting.

What do you do with the pants in the squat toilet?

If you are wearing shorts or pants pull them up to your ankles then pull them forward so they dont block any DC. Clothes are a great option if you know youre going to use the potty but still need to hide it before going downstairs to run errands.

Are there squat toilets in the US?

Squat toilets are commonly found in Asia the Middle East South America North Africa sub-Saharan Africa and to some extent in Southern Europe although they are becoming less common there. Squat toilets are not common in Central and Northern Europe North America Japan Australia.

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