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What Do the Different Icons on Japanese Washlet Toilets Mean?

Visitors to Japan may find themselves befuddled by the control panels on washlet toilets, like this one:

There are at least nine different toilet manufacturers, each with their own graphic design team that has individually decided how to communicate various functions. For example:

In an effort to make these less confusing to foreigners, the members of the Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association have agreed to standardize the designs. Here's the new universal iconography:

And here's what they all mean:

For those of you that can read katakana, this one may confuse you a bit:

In katakana it says "bidet," yet is meant to refer to "Front Spray for Females." This is because in Japan, "bidet" has erroneously been understood to refer to only that part of the job. But consider the graphic design challenge this poses: If we look at the icon for "Rear Spray"....

...that's clearly an ass, which could belong to either gender. How does one flip the image around to indicate "Front Spray for Females [Only]" without drawing something crass? 

The designers have neatly solved this by not showing the front view at all, but by using a side profile and simply adding an extra tuft of hair to suggest a female.

Well played. Though we are a bit curious to see what designs ended up not making the cut.

In any case, the standardization of these icons is a welcome measure, and one that will surely go down in the annals of graphic design history.

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