Electronic toilets with bidet functions have become standard fixtures in Japanese homes. Today, more than 80% of households of two or more people have high-tech toilets.
According to a Cabinet Office survey on consumer confidence in March 2018, 80.2% of households with two or more people have electronic toilets with a bidet function. On average, there are 113 such toilets per 100 households.
The leading Japanese toilet maker Toto became synonymous with electronic toilets when they introduced the first chest of drawers with a ‘washlet’ function in 1980. However, it took a while for people to get comfortable with the idea of a toilet drawing a jet of hot water. In 1992, when statistics were first compiled, only 14.2% of Japanese households had one. This figure kept increasing, however, until high-tech toilets became standard equipment in Japanese households.
Since 2007, the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers has identified major achievements in the history of Japanese mechanical engineering. In 2012, the company recognized Toto’s “washlet” toilets as a heritage of mechanical engineering.
Electronic toilets have also become popular among consumers overseas. Chinese tourists to Japan in particular have purchased such toilets in large quantities during their visits. High-end hotels around the world also continue to install high-tech Japanese toilets. In response, Japanese sanitary ware manufacturers are striving to increase sales overseas.
(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: © Pixta)