Life Hack

Kanji Cheatsheet #Toilet

Ladies, what is the room that makes you happy the most? I bet to many would say `Ladies Room / Toilet`…For those who say NO, try imagine living without it. And for such important room,  Japan the country that is generally more elaborate in everything of course make greater deal about it than other developed nations.


There are two styles of toilets commonly found in Japan; the oldest type is a simple squat toilet, which is still somewhat common in public conveniences. The current `state of the art` for Western-style electronic toilets is the bidet toilet, which, as of March 2015, is installed in 77.5% of Japanese households. In Japan, these bidets are commonly called washlets, a brand name of Toto Ltd., and include many advanced features rarely seen outside of Asia.

So ladies, to save ourselves for unnecessary humiliation, it is better to get to know a bit about both styles of Japanese toilets.


How to Use the Japanese-style Toilet/ Squat Toilet

This is definitely handy to know especially if you are going to visit old Japanese house or stay over at Ryokan. The Japanese-style toilet is not sat on. Stand over the toilet stool facing the side with the hood. Then squat over it and conveniently place yourself close but not to the point of contact with the stool. For beginners, this might be an awkward position but as the body does not get in contact with the stool it is sanitary.
A special slipper for the toilet is provided. Be sure to change to this slipper upon entering the toilet.


Toilet traditional Japanese


How to Use An Electronic Japanese Toilet

The electronic toilet is that ones what you will find in almost 80% of the households and almost everywhere in Japan, especially in departments stores. Below is the excerpt from

The basic functions you should be aware of, though, are the bidet and “oshiri” functions–oshiri meaning a wash for your behind. These wash functions can replace toilet paper, although in restrooms with these toilets, toilet paper is provided.

Japanese Bidet


Electronic Japanese Toilet`s Kanji Cheat Sheet




おしり wash for your behind
ビデ bidet
やわらか a gentler wash for your behind
とまる stop
停止 ていし stop
水勢 すいせい water pressure
よわい weak
つよい strong
音量 おんりょう volume (for the sound)
音停止 おとていし stop sound
流す ながす flush
パワー脱臭 パワーだっしゅう power deodorizer

The image below shows an example of a toilet control panel, which already has the English translations. If you want to play a flushing sound to mask any “noises”, per the norm in women’s restrooms, press the button with a music note or look for something like



Washlet Control Panel  (Picture credit )


If you dare to try a refreshing, cleansing spray in lieu of toilet paper, press either おしり, for men or women, or ビデ, for women.

Before you press either button, make sure you are sitting on the seat. I also highly recommend pressing the minus button or “weak” button (弱) under 水勢 (water pressure), usually on the left side, as far down as it goes. You can adjust the water pressure to your liking later, but I would liken the typical “normal” pressure setting on many models to a Waterpik. Fine for your teeth, not your nether regions.

To stop the stream or spray, press the 止 button firmly. It’s usually a red/orange color or is outlined in that color, in case you forget the kanji.


Toilet panel Japan

Another example of control Panel Credit


Toilet panel Japan

Toilet panel Japan

A sensor to automatically play music or flushing sound  normally found in hotel or department store Credit


Some models have a “dry” function to use after your spray, if desired: 乾燥 (かんそう)
If, while doing your business, you chose to listen to the soothing sounds of a fake toilet flush, be sure to press 音停止 to turn the sound off. If the sound turned on automatically, it will turn off by itself.

And now it’s time to flush. Sometimes you’ll see an automatic sensor. Sometimes a handle. Sometimes a handle with two kanji: 大 and 小. Switch the handle in the direction of 大 for a “big flush” and 小 for a “small flush” (the latter saves water).

If the buttons are on a square panel, look for 流す (ながす, flush). Or you might come across a push button or a hand sensor, like the one below. Just hold your hand over it until the toilet flushes.


Toilet panel Japan

Hold your hand over the black sensor screen to flush mostly found  in department store`s toilets credit

Now go use the restroom with confidence!






For other Kanji Cheatsheets, check our Air conditioner cheat sheet 

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