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The 6 Most Terrifying Features of Japanese Toilets

#3. Toilets That Taste Your Business

Japan has a serious appetite for technologies that will help maintain the health of its aging population. Toilets that are capable of measuring the user's blood pressure, body fat and level of sugar in the urine are all available. Many of them are also capable of communicating this information to doctors or other medical practitioners, who are presumably just delighted about seeing their inboxes fill up with news about people's outboxes.

How This Will Go All Wrong

It doesn't take much of a stretch of the imagination to see authorities using the very same technology to detect the presence of illegal substances in a user's waste and then have the toilet turn them in, like some kind of stool pigeon. Sorry about that. And from there it's no great leap to imagining a toilet framing you for a crime you didn't poop. If you think you'll get away by simply voiding into dishwashers, be sure to check back next week for our terrifying expose on the Japanese dishwasher industry (hint: they have no sense of right or wrong, and lasers).

#2. The Sound Princess

It's a well-known fact that Japanese women will expire of shame the instant anyone hears them pee, which became a serious problem with the invention of flush toilets and the splashy noises that accompany them. To stay alive, many Japanese ladies began repeatedly flushing the toilet as they used it to mask the sounds that nature forced them to make. As this was wasting a pretty stunning amount of water, someone with a really hilarious job was forced to invent the Otohime. Also known as the Sound Princess, the Otohime is a device mounted in a toilet stall capable of producing a tinny, unconvincing replica of a toilet flush.

No, it's not an intercom. Because that'd be weird.

How This Will Go All Wrong

Thanks to advanced technology, devices can make all sorts of sounds now; the same hardware that makes a masking flushing noise could also be used to record and amplify the sound it was intended to mask. And if we're dealing with one of the advanced talking toilets, it could even perhaps add a commentary track, like it was a bonus feature on a DVD of a peeing woman that you'd just purchased.

"This bit right here is when Kumiko just went for it, and is, at least I think, really when she earned the respect of the crew."

#1. Sphincter Relaxation Music

A toilet can be a pretty stressful place to be, what with all the concern you're feeling about the noises you're about to make.

"HUUUUUUUUUURRRRGGGK." Splush. "Man, I've got to stop eating Lego."

As discussed, one of the effects of stress is its tendency to cause things to tighten up, which can be problematic in a toilet situation. Fortunately, the Japanese toilet industry has considered that, and also produces toilets that can play music intended to relax you and your various retaining muscles. Classical music is a popular default option, but these devices are typically capable of playing whatever music you want, if, for example, you find something else gets you in the mood.

How This Will Go All Wrong

Audio designed to make you release the brakes on the poop train? That sounds a little bit like the fabled brown note, doesn't it? MythBusters famously tried to generate a brown note without, sadly, any success, so we guess we're safe, right? Except that they were only testing vibrations through the air, not with mechanical contact between the subject and the device. Like the kind of contact you'd see if a sentient toilet wanted to turn its food source/hated enemy inside out. _________________________ Now, we've been a little alarmist here. When contacted, the Japanese scientists who made these toilets probably assured us that our concerns were completely unrealistic. We couldn't tell, of course; they were speaking Japanese. But then again, the scientists who threw nuclear weapons at the ocean assured everyone that it wouldn't create Godzilla, and that turned out to be exactly what happened. So we stand behind our alarmism. If just one person who reads this decides to never use a toilet without a gun pressed against the bowl, we'll consider this article a success. _________________________

For more ways Japan has lost its mind, check out 6 Japanese Subcultures That Are Insane (Even for Japan) and 9 Beloved Characters Made Horrifying by Japan.

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