This is something you may not know but many Japanese women are actually embarrassed when using a public restroom. This led to a long tradition of masking the noises that dates back to the 19th century.
The first ever device was called Otokeshi-no Tsubo and it was actually a big bronze filled with water. When women went to the toilet and activated the device, water rushed out of the dragon’s mouth while they were doing their “thing” and basically masked the sound.
But as this was quite expensive, it was only being used by high-ranking officials who could afford this luxury. Soon enough though, women figured out that they didn’t need the Otokeshi-no Tsubo. An easier way to camouflage their toilet sounds was to constantly flush the toilet. But this meant that they used an incredible amount of water. (the article continues after the ad)
That’s why in 1988, the toilet maker company Toto introduced the Otohime – “the princess sound”. The device is attached on women’s restroom walls and when in use, it plays a flushing sound to keep the unwanted noises inaudible. It even has a volume button while some models have a timer:
The device is widely used and it can be found in public restrooms throughout the country.
This may sound strange to us but you have to git it to the Japanese for paying attention to such a small but indeed, delicate issue.