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Scotland’s Arran Brewery is planning the country’s first sake brewery – and will sell the traditional rice wine to Japan.
Get FREE access to authoritative breaking news, videos, podcasts, webinars and white papers. Despite being famous for producing the heated, buttock-massaging, water-spraying robotic toilets of the future, Japan is also home to a surprising number of old-school a€?washikia€? (Japanese-style) squat toilets.
According to Internet chatter, though, there may actually be more benefits to using Japanese-style toilets than simply good posture, with a€?hygienica€?, a€?time-savinga€? and a€?strengtheninga€? just some of the words being used to describe these classic ceramics. A common complaint about Japanese-style toilets is that, unlike Western models where youa€™re seated the entire time, ita€™s necessary for the user to squat over them, putting most of their weight on their thighs and calves. Even so, for those not accustomed to this Gollum-esque squatting position while answering the call of nature, it can be nothing short of agony and equivalent to having done a couple of hundred squats or sprinting up a flight of stairs.
According to Japana€™s own Wikipedia entry on the subject, Japanese squat toilets also promote stronger leg muscles and a€” although it may sadden those who enjoy nothing more than perching on the throne with their iPhone for half an hour at a time a€” save time, ultimately making us more productive.
So the next time you open a stall door and find one of these peculiar horizontal urinals looking up at you, keep an open mind; not only will you be in and out a heck of a lot faster, youa€™ll probably have a much easier time of it.
The first time I used a Japanese style toilet, I faced the wrong way and my wallet managed to leave my back pocket and PLOP.
I agree that squat loos are healthier and more hygienic - when faced with the choice in the public loos, choosing the washiki is a no-brainer, since your buttocks don't come into contact with anything.
On a more serious note, the washiki toilet is almost impossible for many disabled people to use.
Women are more prone to constipation and more likely to wear clothes (like kimonos) that make high seats not ideal.
Whilst Japanese bathtubs are WAY better than those shallow American bathtubs, Japanese "toilets" are one of the worst Japanese inventions. Also I heard that for the elderly in Japan they are very difficult to use - arthritis and such. Having been pregnant in this country, and having to (attempt) to use one while 8-9 months gone, I can tell you it is very difficult.
No, Western-style [only in Japan] you only have to endure the ever-baking toilet seat heater on an already warm day.
Since most of the body touching the seat is skin of the thighs and glutes, the ick-factor of sitting on a toilet is a purely emotional reaction.
Most people don't even consider the ick-factor in touching door knobs, keyboards for cashless transactions or turning on a light switch or picking up the same high-end handbag in a department store or grocery items a stranger has recently touched and put back. If the squat is healthier, couldn't the position be achieved by simply leaning forward on a 'western' toilet? They stink like nothing else because there is no water in them, they must be impossible to clean because public toliets with these stink like nothing else.
Two new Japanese web magazines that focus on lifestyle and fashion have come in the past two months: JAGR and THE FASHION POST (TFP). JAGR covers art, culture and life, but from a perspective that differs greatly from what the mainstream press chews out.


The lay-out is thoroughly modern, very similar to how Pinterest and DAZED DIGITAL present data. TFP was launched this month and is headed by Hidetaka Furuya, the director of the multi-disciplinary creative agency Northern Projects which also runs Tokyo street snap site DROP TOKYO. It is still in beta mode, it seems, as the Travel, Library and Collections sections are not yet active.
In the past, bilingual web magazines on Japanese culture have not been able to keep their head above water.
About the AuthorInspired by the stunningly creative street fashion that exploded on the streets of Tokyo and Osaka in the late 1990’s, photo-journalist Kjeld Duits launched JAPANESE STREETS in 2002. One of Tokyo’s most important fashion and design exhibitions, rooms, took place again this week. On the last three days of 2015, the 89th edition of Japan’s famed Comic Market took place in Tokyo. Arran Brewery believes its existing reputation - coupled with a high quality product and the novelty value of Scottish sake – will be its secret to success.The brewery has been producing craft beer for a decade. Especially outside of the city, these toilets can still be found in many homes, public buildings and schools, despite the vast majority of the younger generation positively recoiling whenever they open a stall door to find one of these things waiting to humbly accept their waste. This position is, in fact, generally agreed to be much better for our health and makes splash-down far easier since a€“ and you might want to put down the fork if youa€™re reading this during your lunch break a€“ the anoretical angle is much better when in a squatting position and the rectum (although naturally curved of course) is a€?straightera€?, allowing the browns to slip by unobstructed. With its tradition of drawing a clear line between the inside and out, exhibited even today by the custom of removing shoes when entering a home or even a doctora€™s or dental clinic, cleanliness has always been something considered very important in Japan.
Certainly, when compared to the enormous bidet-equipped devices that many homes and fancy office buildings now have, washiki toilets are a breeze to keep in a sanitary condition, requiring little more than some bleach and the occasional scrub. Provided, of course, that you get the angle right and keep your pants well out of harma€™s way. The school I was to be teaching at had found the apartment for me before I arrived in Japan.
Next thing they say that indoor plumbing is bad because you don't have to carry water in from the outside that would give you exercise and strong muscles. Studies show higher counts of bacteria are found under the average person's fingernails than on toilet seats. It features fashion news and trends, interviews with designers and creators, marketing and IT trends, and information about global fashion capitals. Because of Furuya’s track record and his studies at London College of Fashion and the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, TFP especially looks like a very promising webmag that might be able to bridge the culture and language gap and attract both Japanese and foreign readers.
Popular Japanese design magazine pingmag and its sister site PingMag MAKE went dead in 2008, and MEKAS, which had ambitions very similar to what TFP is aspiring to accomplish, went on its belly in 2009.
This makes JS one of the first fashion blogs on the net, and the very first to cover Japanese street fashion.
Some experts, such as the late UK doctor, Denis Burkitt, even believe that defecating in a squatting position helps to prevent colorectal cancer. Until fairly recently, toilets were almost always kept separate from bathing areas, with the two considered to be at completely opposite ends of the spectrum of sanitation, so it perhaps makes sense that traditional squat-style toilets should promote as quick and sanitary use as possible.


No need to worry about getting into those nooks and crannies between the seat and the toilet itself or cleaning chemicals damaging the plastic or electrical elements inside; the job can be done in a matter of seconds.
Oh, and for those of you who are still unsure how to approach these porcelain poopers, remember: always face upstream and have the flush lever in front of you, regardless of whether ita€™s a number one or two youa€™re visiting with. That, and they're not usually kept very clean - you may not have to sit on a warm seat recently used by a stranger, but you often have to stand in other stuff left by them. Though it's trickier for women whose wardrobe choices often make using the J-style option more of a hassle. I work out enough, when I have a bad tequila night, I don't want to squat, grew up in a modern country with a modern toilet, i want to relax when I use the John, maybe read my phone.
Just got my new Inax Auto washer toilet, the best thing that was ever hygienically invented. Features on JAGR Girls are interspersed with an article about international E-trash an Issey Miyake model shoot and music tracks by disco demon Dirk Bite. However, there was a bit of a misperception of the quality level we’d have to achieve - it was only when I went there and tasted their sake I realised the challenge. They did think the toilet might be a problem for me, so they went to the hardware store and bought a plastic Western style toilet form (just the form, no working parts or water) to fit over the washiki so I could sit down. And the French washiki in cheap shared-johns flats (for students) are terribly dirty and unconvenient. That’s upped the game.”Arran Brewery’s marketing will emphasise its Scottish heritage – something Michaluk thinks the Japanese will respond well to - and produce premium quality sake (a standard determined by the polishing of the rice during brewing).
They did make special accommodation for me when I injured my leg in an accident and couldn't bend it for several weeks. However, Michaluk says the real proof will be in the taste.“The sake industry is like the craft beer industry. Because it was just a form - no water flow inside - each time it was used, it had to be washed down, and cleaned daily.
Overall [beer] sales are falling, but this sector is exploding – it’s quality over quantity.“My challenge is that, when people buy it, they want to try it again. And because the form was rather high, when sitting on it, some of my shorter friends were left with their feet dangling in the air.
We need to get the general acceptance – the novelty has to be backed up by really good product. One day he's in there doing his biz, studying a kanji book, as you do (pre smart phone era).



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