Living: King for A Day

In a Small Room With a View Hygiene and high-tech make Japan's loos the spiffiest ever

The fancy showroom is a sensory delight. Soft blue light dances gently around a pool of water on the floor, and delicate sounds of synthesizer music fill the air. On the gray tile wall, ten video screens display soothing images of running streams and ocean waves. Shoppers at the INAX Corp. showroom are delighted: "Suteki ((lovely))," murmurs Tokyo housewife Masako Yakou, happily browsing past rows and rows of shiny new . . . well, er, facilities. Gushes Yakou: "I love toilets."

So do many citizens of Japan, where personal hygiene is paramount and high technology extends into just about every sphere...

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