Japanese Masters Get Closer to the Toilet Nirvana. If the headline doesn’t grab you, something in this NY Times article probably will. Air-conditioning, talking, moving, body fat measuring, lab analyzing, internet connecting, music playing… and so on. It’s loaded with information about the obscure innovation race for the better toilet – from “workshops so secretive and competitive that a visiting reporter and photographer were not allowed inside”.
This may be one explanation for the ferocious toilet research going on in Japan. This is a nation famously addicted to gadgetry of any variety, and the addiction clearly extends to the bathroom. Another factor stimulating toilet research is the fact that Japan’s population is peaking and the number of households is expected to start declining by the end of the decade. Some money can be made by exporting toilets to countries with comparatively primitive toilet cultures, like China and Vietnam. But in Japan the real sales growth will be found by adding exotic toilet features.