Japan’s meticulously maintained smart toilets, equipped with all manner of jets, heating panels and driers have wowed foreign visitors for years. Now the Japanese toilet gods, known as kawayakami, are about to make it in China. A Goldman Sachs report on consumer goods in the world’s number two economy says China is a toilet-friendly culture where bathroom facilities are viewed as a “safe and comfortable space for me-time,” Leo Lewis writes in the FT. China already has a smart-toilet adoption level of 4 per cent thanks mainly to older middle-class women. This is predicted to surge to 11 per cent in 2026 as newly built homes are furnished. In the US, by contrast, where toilets are seen more as a means to an end (an “unfriendly toilet culture”, as Goldman puts it), the adoption rate sits under 1 per cent. A less than solid performance from Uncle Sam.
Photograph CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images