Japanese Squat Toilets
Japan to phase out squat toilets. Sailors will no longer face the adventure of this instrument of torture. Let Brion tell the story:
“Homecoming Parade Float”
By Brion Boyles
OK. so…I was 18, new in the Navy and on my first port visit to Japan. The ship, USS MONTICELLO, had pulled into Yokosuka, and a shipmate asked me if I wanted to go to Tokyo with him and a couple of other guys in a rented car and visit an old friend they knew… maybe play some poker. “Sure!”, I said, and we all piled into the car and headed off.
We parked on a tiny street fronting a tall apartment building and went up to the 4rth floor, where a party was in progress. I sat in on the poker game until I felt the need to unload, asked for the bathroom, and headed in. Locking the door, I turned and looked for the toilet. “Where the fuck is the TOILET!?!?”
There, obviously, is the sink, there’s a wastebasket…and recessed into the floor was what looked like a ceramic bedroom slipper, with a drain hole and some kind of tank above it. This, I figgered, was the mystical Japanese-style toilet I had heard a bit about. As I was already starting to “cap”, I thought no further…dropped trou, squatted over the narrow hole and let loose a perfect, foot-long log so dry and solid it made a “TINK!” noise when it hit the ceramic. I made use of a few sheets of ass-wipe from the roll and then looked for the flush lever.
No flush lever. There was a stumpy thing poking out of the tank, so I pushed it, tried to twist it…no joy. My concrete turd still lay motionless at the bottom of the pure-white trough. Now someone is pounding at the door…”You OK, man?”…
“Yeah! Just a minute!”. Not knowing what else to do, I yanked about 20 feet of toilet paper and carefully picked up my still-warm work of art, rolling it in the toilet paper like an Egyptian artifact. Then, I quietly opened the tiny window over the tank and lobbed the shitlog-mummy out into the darkness of the Oriental night.
I returned to the poker game, whereupon the host said, “I hope that missing lever didn’t give you trouble. Most people figure out that’s what the bottle opener on the string by the sink is for…” “Sure, no sweat…figgered it out right away!” I said, not wanting to look like a “boot camp” in front of all these salty sailors.
Well, we played into the night and decided to head back to the ship, but as we approached the rental car, to my utter shame and horror…I noticed it looked like a badly done float in a High School Homecoming Parade….strewn with toilet paper and Milk Duds…
“WTF?!?!?” sez my shipmate, to which I muttered, “Just get the fuck in, and drive fast. I’ll explain later….”
4 thoughts on “Japanese Squat Toilets”
On the reverse side of this was when my now deceased ex-father-in-law came to visit from the boondocks and faced a real American toilet for the first time. After a brief period in the head, he called for his wife to help. Seems he climbed up on the seat and straddled like the floor model. Then he splashed when he shit a couple hard ones. Next he slipped with one foot outside and one foot inside the shitter. Later told me that we had a weird toilet like he never saw before. Just a life saver that we had a shower in that new style head. Forgot about that until I read about the escapade to Tokyo and said broken handle.
In the sixties ,early, either Spain or Africa that’s all they had, you had to straddle what looked like a trough, leaning back against the wall , never wanted to see another one,
I remember those in the mid-60s, toilet paper was a luxury, a bar in Olongapo had this set up.
Only no paper had ever been, never. Then I see what’s going on. A small
tube was protruding from the wall, water was running from it. A slow steady stream was what we were expected to rinse
with after using your fingers to clean your business on your butt. I’ve seen lots of strange things
in my travels.
Remember a deckape on the Kirk launching one straight into his skivvies in a Honch bar head on New Year’s Eve in ’76. Those were the days….