"Japanese men brought to their knees by angry housewives"... this headline brought to you by the makers of the Tenshi no Hizamakura, literally "Angels Knee Pillow", a bizarre kneeling bench cum toilet cleanliness device designed to reduce the distance from the pole to the pool by bringing proud men to their knees. I ask you, how could they stoop so low?
Since using the toilet is (usually) a private matter, we can also ask WHY this humiliating device is necessary in the first place. Here comes the science: according to the manufacturer, House Doctor, urinating into the toilet from a certain height results in hundreds of droplets of spray & splash being ejected from the bowl - yes, they actually COUNTED the droplets - and in Japanese households it's the wife who gets to perform the toilet cleaning services.
Naturally, the ladies are P.O.'d... and when a Japanese woman is expected to become a toilet cleaner on a regular basis, you can bet urine trouble. The Tenshi no Hizamakura is the answer to a Japanese woman's dreams (and the cause of Japanese men's nightmares).
The Angels Knee Pillow kneeling bench comes in two different models to suit your bathroom budget. The deluxe DX style costing 5,800 yen (about $60) is a two-piece ensemble that oddly resembles a pair of prayer benches, scrolled trim and all. I know one is expected to kneel before the throne, but then unzip and let fly?
The cheaper "Eco" toilet bench costs just 4,800 yen (about $50) and is a one-piece design that from above resembles a peanut. Or pee-nut, as it were. The toilet benches are rated at up to 120 kg (265 lbs) of bearable weight so beefy types have an excuse that will allow them to retain their dignity. Both kneelers can be tucked away at the side of the toilet to prevent them from being spattered by those who refuse to use them - just wait 'til the wife sees that!
I implore all male toilet users (you know who you are), Japanese or otherwise, to protest the purchase of this infernal, masculinity-robbing contraption. Only about 280 of the evil things have been sold so far - far too many, in this man's opinion.
Guys, it's time to make a stand, literally, because standing at the toilet to answer one of nature's calls is what makes men men. We stand tall, and we stand proud - and the higher we stand, the prouder we are! Refuse the Angels Knee Pillow for God's sake... now let us spray. (via Tokyo Times, c/o Degenerasian)
UPDATE: For those of us in the U.S., no optimized toilet kneeling bench is available. So we will have to make do with using these general gardening and meditation kneeling benches.