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And although I wish I was talking about a real princess, which is what “Hime” or rather, “O-Hime-sama” お姫様 stands for, this particular princess in reality only reigns over a place which forms part of our daily cleaning routine – the toilet. Yes, we are speaking of the Japanese toilet, which came out in recent news under one of the “must-tries” if you go to Japan (…yes, I know, we have nothing better to do than to be amazed by their toilet culture).

Metropolis here explains the history of the Otohime (乙姫), which dates as far back as the 15th century if you are looking at inspiration, or just as far back as 1980 if you look at the more modern conception of the Otohime.

What intrigues me is that the Otohime’s name was, in actuality, derived from Japanese mythology, after the Japanese Dragon Princess of the sea, who was the daughter of the sea-king Ryujin. She was also called Toyotama-hime (豊玉姫), and apparently turned into a dragon after giving birth to a son after she married the hunter Hoori – the significance of this being, the son gave birth to Emperor Jinmu, the first Emperor of Japan (or so Wikipedia admits). I love how they link the oh-so-distant relationships and try to make it all signify, don’t you? And, is it just me, or would this make some really great anime/drama?

So I get the reference (I mean, Dragon Princess of the Sea right, and toilets – like, connection hello?) but thought it was really amusing (and fun, it must be fun to have such a device at hand) to see the Otohime at work – This is a 55 sec Youtube video of it:

And as a female, I heartily applaud the invention of the Otohime. It hides all those awkward moments in the toilet when you’re sitting in the cubicle and you can hear the person next to you stripping down and the following hissing sounds of doing the deed so to speak. Or, even better, while you’re sitting there trying to figure out if there’s a way to rip off your pad silently so as not to alert everyone in the toilet to the fact that you’re having your period, with the Otohime, you can just hit the button and boom, problem solved.

One response

  1. Nice! When I visited Japan, they had these pits that you had to straddle to… well anyway… Yuk! and uncomfortable according to my western sensibilities. Your blog was cute and fun to read.

    Come by and visit my blog, Mysterious Japan at http://is.gd/NOq2Bo.

    April 3, 2011 at 1:14 am

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