Friday, February 3, 2017

Current Events: Tokyo's High Tech Toilets

For my second current events project I did a report on Japan's new symbols for their high-tech toilets. When I presented, my whole class, including me, was teary-eyed from laughing. It was hilarious!!!

See the full report and video below (you have to watch the video get get the full effect):

 Figuring out the multiple buttons on Japan’s toilets can be a unpleasant experience for the people who aren’t familiar with it. People who expect to hear a familiar flushing sound, instead have a sudden cleansing of the nether regions.

As Japan prepares for a flood of overseas visitors during the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the Tokyo Olympics the following year, the country’s sanitary   industry has agreed to standardize pictograms on toilets so users know for certain if they are about to receive a blast of warm air or a jet of water.

Nine manufacturers belonging to the Japan sanitary equipment industry association will soon start using the same eight symbols to explain the buttons found on their high-tech toilets.
 At a launch event last week, the firms said they had agreed to simplify the pictography in response to complaints from tourists that they are confused by symbols that differ depending on the maker of toilet.

In a 2014 survey of 600 foreign visitors, a quarter said they could not understand some of the symbols that appear on the toilet buttons.

The eight new symbols show users how to flush (large and small), open and close the lid, activate the front and back cleanse and drying functions, and trigger the off switch. There should now be no mistaking them.
 The unified icons will appear on toilets sold in Japan from April, according to Jiji Press, which added that makers eventually hoped they would become standard for high-tech toilets sold around the world.

The confusion arose when manufacturers created their own symbols after the first toilet with washing and drying functions appeared in Japan in the mid-1960s.
The toilets, including Toto’s market-leading Washlet, have since become common fixtures in restaurants, hotels and other public places, occasionally to the dismay of visitors who are more accustomed to a simple flush and a lid they open and close manually.
 “We are sure the new design of pictograms will help our products become more popular overseas, as well as offer hospitality to foreigners and show that Japan is a country that welcomes tourists,” Madoka Kitamura, head of the industry group and president of Toto, told reporters, according to the Asahi Shimbun.

The Guardian | BBC |  The Japan Times

PowerPoint Presentation:

Practice Presentation:


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