Last week I installed a spray toilet seat in my bathroom (13,000 yen, Amazon).  I bought it without knowing for sure if it would be installable, figuring I could return it if it wasn’t.  So, last Monday night, after searching for hours for the water shutoff valve for my house (under the sink, behind the wall, inside the sink cabinet, down in the crawlspace) and finally finding it in plain sight next to the boiler, I installed the new toilet seat.  It was easier than I thought it was going to be, maybe because I actually read the manual, which was surprisingly clear.

After the install and a few tests, proud of my accomplishment, I snapped a few photos of the seat and sent one off to my father and stepmother, who have never been to Japan and have no concept of the “washlet” spray toilet that Japan is so famous for.

My father responded:

I’ve never seen such a thing.  Who knew?

The next day I sent another photo of the button panel on the side of the toilet seat, to which my stepmom replied:

I want to know what all the buttons on that toilet lid could possibly be for!!!!!!!

So, I thought I’d have a little fun, and quickly sent off this reply:

Here’s what the buttons do, from left to right.

• shuts the toilet so when you flush, water overflows everywhere.
• summons a ghost butt to mirror your own butt (superstitious thing)
• calls the maid
• shakes the toilet left and right violently
• the rest of the smaller ones each order a different type of rice ball snack. Flavors include kelp, fermented soybeans, fish flakes and cod roe.

Of course, that couldn’t be more of a big, fat, fib.  I assume all of those reading this frequently rinse their tushes with a Japanese style spray toilet several times a day, but for those who haven’t had the pleasure of electronically douching their derriere, here is what the buttons actually do:

• stop button.  Very important.
• sprays warm water on your tush.
• bidet
• gyrates the spray nozzle from front to back
Little buttons: left to right, from top row
• first two: adjust the power of the tush spray
• adjusts water temperature
• cleans the nozzle
• different energy saving modes
• first two on bottom: move nozzle position from front to back
• seat temperature
• air freshener