TOKYO––Smartening up before the Toyko Summer Olympics, Japan has turned away from traditional porcelain toilets in an effort to deter destruction of the country’s public toilets, opting for a more solid solution: Cast iron thrones.
Since around 2012, public toilets in the park have been destroyed by [unknown persons], and the damage has been repeated nationwide. In March 2014, 85 toilets were destroyed at Hikarigaoka Park in Nerima-ku, Tokyo, and repair costs reached ¥10 million [about USD $91,000).Asahi Shimbun
Both men’s and women’s toilets were smashed during the 1-week vandalism spree, and even once repaired, they were smashed again. The incident catalyzed officials at the Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association to think more creatively about what material from which to forge the toilets. The world’s oldest ironworks company Ito Tekko was up for the job.
Cast iron––while extremely hefty–– also carries a heft price tag costing roughly 50% more than a porcelain urinal. And apparently casting a full toilet proved to be quite a difficult task—so only urinals made the cut. Even so, the industrial loos are paintable and feature delightful colors. An amusing state of affairs to say to least.
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