Washlet toilet, stainless-steel train declared engineering marvels
A toilet seat with a warm-water spray feature, a stainless-steel train car and three others have won mechanical engineering heritage awards.
The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers will hold a ceremony for the winners Aug. 7, the society's “Machine Day."
Toto Ltd. released the Washlet G toilet seat with a shower unit in 1980. In the development process, Toto employees repeatedly experimented to find the proper water flow, temperature and spray angle.
The society praised the product, saying, “It has changed the way of life for Japanese people.”
Tokyu Corp. was Japan’s first railway company to introduce stainless-steel cars in 1958. The cars soon went into use nationwide because they weighed less, and required less maintenance and no painting.
Another winner, the Yoshino-yama Ropeway on Mount Yoshino in Nara Prefecture, is the country’s oldest aerial tramway still in operation. It opened in 1929.
Other winners were the oldest existing power lathe produced in Japan and a desktop copier released in 1955.
The Asahi Shimbun AJW
23 July 2012
The Washlet G toilet (Provided by the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers)