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Pants Pankuro: Toilet training in Japan
November 5, 2009 9:05 PM   Subscribe

Toilet training isn't quite so easy in Japan. There's squat toilets and western style to consider. Then there are the talking toilets, and toilets that act as electronic bidets. It's no wonder then, that Japanese kids need more than a few hints from mum to master lavatorial etiquette. Meet Pants Pankuro and his friends, in their efforts to master the strange world of the Japanese toilet.

Mind you, Pants doesn't have the market all to himself. He's got opposition in the form of Shimajiru, but for my money, the tiger's work just isn't a patch on that of Mr. Pankuro.
posted by PeterMcDermott (39 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Previous crap – but with broken YTs at the linked site. Nice use of the GaryGlitter tag.
posted by tellurian at 9:20 PM on November 5, 2009


My personal paean in two parts to a number of things Japanese, including the glorious toilet technology, from a few years back.

Bumwash Gadgetry has since appeared all over Korea as well (even the toilets at my office, for goodness sakes), and it is bitterweet that I will never recapture the sphinctery bliss of that first encounter. [NOT CODE]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:21 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Damn, not sure why my rigorous searches didn't bring up that earlier toilettraining tag.

Well, feel free to learn the correct way to take a dump in this thread before it gets deleted.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:35 PM on November 5, 2009


And yet despite all that, most Japanese (and Korean!) kids are fully toilet trained before 18 months.
posted by luriete at 9:36 PM on November 5, 2009


My wife always complained about not having a washlet in our apartment. The house we bought? It came with them. I always thought they were a little unnerving, a little eewww, but I am totally a convert now. Warm, heated seats in the winter, without having to wait for your spouse to be the first to give up in your grim battle of bladder pressure. And, of course, washing.

Supposedly they're on sale in the States now. I heartily recommend them.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:14 PM on November 5, 2009


When I visited Japan, I took pictures of the toilet in my hotel room. I also tried the bidet thing. I think I did it wrong.

Also, when I used the restroom in a restaurant we went to, as I entered the toilet seat opened up for me. That was a little disturbing. Also, instead of a simple lever, the flush mechanism was buried in this complicated, NASA-like control pad attached to the wall, all labelled in "I can't read it" Japanese. I pushed the red button. Luckily, that was the flush button, and not the "send the video of me crapping to YouTube" button.

Actually, it might have been both. I guess I don't really know.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:14 PM on November 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


Wipe your worries away!
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:35 PM on November 5, 2009


Damn, not sure why my rigorous searches didn't bring up that earlier toilettraining tag.
No worries, jonson double posted it himself! Yes, that's right, his own post! It's the only reason I remembered it.
posted by tellurian at 10:45 PM on November 5, 2009


we certainly live in a strange time when paper.. something that for most of human history was pretty darned valuable and precious, is now used to wipe our bums. I predict sometime in the next 100 years we'll have to find some other means of doing this.
posted by edgeways at 10:54 PM on November 5, 2009


I subscribe to the theory that wiping my ass with pristine toilet paper is doing my part to save the environment. I make it a point to buy non-recycled paper, sourced with sustainable tree farms. As our biggest threat is carbon emissions, and as trees stop sucking in carbon once they get significantly large, I'm doing my part to help the environment by buying fluffy toilet paper instead by participating in carbon-capture (carbon trees go into the drain/ground). Fancy Japanese bidets can't do that

Actually, I just like luxuriously soft toilet paper that can only come from non-recycled trees and have no idea if this is true or not.
posted by amuseDetachment at 11:24 PM on November 5, 2009


When I visited Japan, I took pictures of the toilet in my hotel room.

I'm pretty sure I ot toilet shots at every hotel and ryokan we stayed at, including a squat toilet in Kyoto's Imperial Palace. I'm not sure why, but I hypothesize it's because they're like Pokemon (Gotta catch 'em all!) in comparison to our rather staid variety here in the states.

I have to say, though, that the Hotel Screen in Kyoto had some seriously 21st Century toilet facilities in the room. Kind of seemed like I was taking control of the Captain's chair on the Starship Enterprise the moment I sat down.
posted by vanadium at 12:01 AM on November 6, 2009


I took, rather. Sheesh.
posted by vanadium at 12:01 AM on November 6, 2009


As somebody who makes a living by (among other things) toilet training tiny little Japanese children, I have seen Pants Pankuro on many, many diapers but never knew his name until this post. Thanks!

On the other hand, ShimaJiro is also on many, many diapers and my kids constantly point him out to me and excitedly tell me that they have ShimaJiro diapers that day.

The ShimaJiro puppet is also one of the most fought-over toys in my classroom.
posted by emmling at 3:54 AM on November 6, 2009


I, for one, am of the opinion that our descendants will look back to this time and have a good laugh at our use of toilet paper:

"Wait, lemme get this straight. They'd gone to the moon." "yep." "They had satellites and GPS and invented the Internet?" "yep." "Birth control and plastics and solar power?" "yep yep yep." "And they still wiped their bottoms with a roll of paper?" "Seems so."
posted by explosion at 4:02 AM on November 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


It appears that Japanese toilet technology is so advanced the U.S. government will be forced to provide a stimulus packaget to domestic ass wipes.
posted by digsrus at 4:58 AM on November 6, 2009


I have been trying manfully for the past several hours to find the "Mamy Poco Pants" post in Mefi Music to link here. It needs it, somehow.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:13 AM on November 6, 2009


I predict sometime in the next 100 years we'll have to find some other means of doing this.

There's probably something in the works over at Google Labs.
posted by DU at 5:18 AM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have been trying manfully for the past several hours to find the "Mamy Poco Pants" post in Mefi Music to link here. It needs it, somehow.

I found it right away! Guess I'm more of a man than you!

and maybe it also helped that I made the post in the first place...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:57 AM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


"What's wrong honey... do you have to go google or bing?"
posted by Kabanos at 6:02 AM on November 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


The film adaption of Everybody poops will be the feel good movie of 2010.

No, I don't have anything else to contribute to the discussion. Sorry.
posted by autopilot at 6:09 AM on November 6, 2009


Guess I'm more of a man than you!

Since I'm a woman, I would assume you were....

(But seriously: the search function seems wonky, and I'm trying to ascertain whether it's my computer specifically or the site as a whole before bugging the mods. That's all.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:16 AM on November 6, 2009


I, for one, am of the opinion that our descendants will look back to this time and have a good laugh at our use of toilet paper:

"They didn't know how to use the three seashells!!!"
posted by dogwalker at 6:34 AM on November 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


The first time I even so much as touched one of those things in Japan it scalded my nether regions with a most powerful jet of water then proceeded to flood the entire bathroom.

I hated them. Now I can't believe I ever used anything else.

I predict sometime in the next 100 years we'll have to find some other means of doing this.

Nanobots.
posted by tbonicus at 6:55 AM on November 6, 2009


Fun Fact: The popular children's book Everybody Poops is Japanese.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:09 AM on November 6, 2009


Sittin on tha toilet
posted by mr.marx at 7:38 AM on November 6, 2009


Squat toilets are the best!
posted by aniola at 8:56 AM on November 6, 2009


Nanobots.

Lasers!
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:38 AM on November 6, 2009


learn the correct way to take a dump in this thread

This is MetaFilter, dude. Taking a dump in a thread is something we know all about.
posted by eritain at 9:59 AM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


we certainly live in a strange time when paper.. something that for most of human history was pretty darned valuable and precious, is now used to wipe our bums. I predict sometime in the next 100 years we'll have to find some other means of doing this.

GENETICALLY ENGINEERED TISSUE MONKEYS WHO LIVE ONLY TO WIPE OUR ASSES AND QUESTION GOD.
posted by JHarris at 11:56 AM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jesus, I'd make freak the fuck out if the toilet started talking to me too. Though hiding in someone else's underwear may be a bit of an overreaction.
posted by Jilder at 12:13 PM on November 6, 2009


we certainly live in a strange time when paper.. something that for most of human history was pretty darned valuable and precious, is now used to wipe our bums. I predict sometime in the next 100 years we'll have to find some other means of doing this.

In the future we will crap only light.
posted by Jilder at 12:13 PM on November 6, 2009


Just need to genetically engineer some of these guys. The Japanese are always ahead of us on these things.
posted by wildcrdj at 2:58 PM on November 6, 2009


Squat toilets? Really? In the 21st Century?
posted by Eideteker at 3:01 PM on November 6, 2009


Squat toilets? Really? In the 21st Century?

As has been pointed out by various folks in at least one or two previous toilet-related posts (they crap crop up every so often here) there are some advantages to the squat version, especially in public toilets. Your butt doesn't have to sit where anyone else's butt has sat. Personally, that alone is reason enough for me to much prefer squat toilets when I have to use one away from home.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:07 PM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


The awesome thing about the three seashells is that will have become totally ingrained into society by 2032, so early adopters will be using them within the decade. Of course hundreds of years of ass-wiping tradition won't go out quietly so it will have to be a major fad, like Crocs, but for your butt. Oh, and we'll have hoverboards and trash-powered flying cars within 5 years. Thank you Hollywood!
posted by scope the lobe at 7:21 PM on November 6, 2009


Squat toilets? Really? In the 21st Century?

It's rather difficult to use a western-style toilet when you're dressed in a kimono or yukata.
posted by emmling at 8:11 PM on November 6, 2009


Jeepers.

I had a friggin bidet/toilet seat back in 1994.
(Bought from a popular home discounter catalog)

You you guys ever, like, get OUT? Read a catalog? GO to a STORE?
posted by HTuttle at 9:43 PM on November 6, 2009


You you guys ever, like, get OUT? Read a catalog? GO to a STORE?

I hate to break it to you, but most of us aren't in the habit of reading the kind of catalogs that would carry bathroom furnishings, and you just don't see bidets at your average supermarket. It is therefore conceivable that we could have innocently been unaware of the existence of bidets unless we were specifically looking for them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:47 AM on November 7, 2009


I had a friggin bidet/toilet seat back in 1994.

Back in 1904, back in the old country great granddad McDermott used to lash a hosepipe from the pump in the back yard to his toilet seat. After he took a crap, old granny would have to stand there and pump those bracing, subterranean spring waters while they sprayed around his sphincter.

If only great gramps had bothered to patent his invention, the whole family would be shitting on solid gold lavatory fittings today. That man was the Henry Ford of bidet/toilet seat design, but he was just slightly ahead of his time and so his genius went unmarked.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:50 AM on November 8, 2009


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