Japanese hi-tech toilet instructions

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Big news!

"Japanese toilet industry agrees to standardize complex bidet controls" (The Verge, 1/17/17)

Here follows a complete transcription and translation of all the Japanese writing in the photograph.

The banner behind:

“toire no sōsa pikutoguramu hyōjunka” kishahappyōkai
“Toilet Operations Pictogram Regularization” Press Conference

一般社団法人 日本レストルーム工業会
ippan shadanhōjin Nippon resutorūmu kōgyōkai
Ordinary Corporation Japan Restroom Industrial Association

The banner being held, from the left:

便ふた 開閉  benfuta kaihei  Toilet lid opening and closing

便座 開閉 benza kaihei Toilet seat opening and closing

便器洗浄(大) benkisenjō (dai)   Flush (large)

便器洗浄(小) benkisenjō (shō)  Flush (small)

おしり 洗浄  oshiri senjō  Buttocks rinse

ビデ 洗浄  bide senjō  Bidet rinse

乾燥 kansō Dry

止  tome Stop

Exchange with Frank Chance, who provided the translations and transcriptions:

I wasn't expecting you'd do ALL of them.
My bowl runneth over.

I was just flushed with excitement over the project!
Really, I was just going with the flow….

We owe a debt of gratitude to the giants of the Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association for unifying and explicating the iconography on the control panels of these commodious contraptions.

A couple of relevant posts:

[h.t. Ben Zimmer]


  1. hanmeng said,

    January 19, 2017 @ 8:47 pm

    I loved the bidet function so much I installed a bidet attachment (bought in the USA) on my USA toilet. If one is willing to forgo the electrical functions (heating & warm air), it's very simple. And of course the instructions are all in English. Now I don't want to "go" anywhere else.

  2. AntC said,

    January 19, 2017 @ 8:59 pm

    ;-) love the exchange between you two.

    Thank heavens! I recently stayed in an up-market spa with one of these contraptions. What perhaps isn't clear is that unlike French bidets, there is only one device in the bathroom, that provides both 'elimination' services and 'after-care'.

    I never risked pressing any of the buttons (which were labelled only in Japanese), for fear it would mix up before- and after-the-fact, so to speak. (myl's comment on the 8/8/08 article is also hilarious.)

  3. leoboiko said,

    January 19, 2017 @ 9:52 pm

    > 一般社団法人

    > Ordinary Corporation

    I think 一般 is more like "General" or "Public" here. alc.co.jp gives "General Incorporated Association" for the whole thing, though in-context it seems to be translated simply as "Association", "Business Association" etc.

  4. Dan Lufkin said,

    January 19, 2017 @ 10:34 pm

    I wonder if they'll have a icon topolect for the flushes to deal with the reversed vortex in the Southern Hemisphere. Perhaps they don't expect to export all that many to Aus and NZ.

  5. guilty bystander said,

    January 20, 2017 @ 1:47 am

    The photo isn't loading.

  6. Jichang Lulu said,

    January 20, 2017 @ 2:32 am

    Added to Unicode yet?

  7. Sid Smith said,

    January 20, 2017 @ 3:50 am

    @ hanmeng
    Ditto here in London (tho I've connected lecky as well as water). Wonderful things.

  8. Robot Therapist said,

    January 20, 2017 @ 4:15 am

    Can someone who's used these explain the difference between "buttocks rinse" and "bidet rinse"? Both appear to depict a person being rinsed in the nethers.

  9. Vilinthril said,

    January 20, 2017 @ 5:58 am

    I'm not *certain*, Robot Therapist, but I think it's backside and frontside.

  10. Ed M said,

    January 20, 2017 @ 7:34 am

    Image link is broken (0700 ET on 1/20/17)

  11. krunchy_kitty said,

    January 20, 2017 @ 5:53 pm

    I first encountered one of those all-in-one toilet/bidets in a hotel in Istanbul. Shortly afterward, it was necessary to summon the desk manager. He looked at the water all over the floor, looked at me, and said kindly: "Ah. American!"

  12. J Greely said,

    January 20, 2017 @ 11:52 pm

    I'm disappointed that they didn't standardize icons for "aim" and "water temperature". My roommate wouldn't touch this one until I translated the labels.


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