Toilet Cleaning in Japan: Will It Make You Rich?

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

Japan has a global reputation for maintaining high standards of hygiene which even extend to its public restrooms.

It is one of the few places on earth where I usually don’t have to brace myself before using public toilets, and of course, many people are familiar with the technologically advanced Japanese bidet toilets that get you super clean.

Toilet Cleaning in Japan culture
Toilet cleaning in Japan

But the Japanese have another incentive for ensuring their toilets stay squeaky clean, they believe diligence in this most stinky of tasks will make them rich!

Find out why in this intriguing article!

Toilets Are a Big Thing in Japan

There’s no society on earth that doesn’t comprehend the value of good sanitation, but the Japanese take this to another level. Toilets are far more than a functional necessity.

They’re a cultural phenomenon and a multi-billion dollar industry with high-tech toilets, heated seats, bidet sprays, and even air dryers for your posterior.

However, there is more to Japanese toilets than just comfort and convenience.

The Japanese esteem a clean toilet because they believe it brings good fortune and prosperity.

In Japan, a Clean Toilet Paves the Road to Riches

Tidiness, order and cleanliness extend to the bathroom in Japan. Cleaning a toilet is considered an honorable activity that everyone in society is encouraged to participate in.

In Japan, you’ll find:

  • Schoolchildren AND teachers cleaning the toilets daily
  • Company executives and chairmen ensuring that the staff toilets are super clean
  • Celebrities and billionaires make it a priority to clean the toilet every day. 

Everyone learns to clean the toilet because a clean toilet is a sign of respect for oneself and others.

It fosters humility, which the Japanese esteem as the beginning of greatness. Moreover, they believe that a clean toilet can attract good fortune and wealth.

This belief is so strong that some Japanese households have a special cleaning routine for their toilets that must be performed every day. 

The Cultural Significance of Toilet Cleaning in Japan

Toilet cleaning has its root in the ancient religious practices and philosophies of Japan.

Toilets Are a Big Thing in Japan
Cleanliness is associated with good health and wealth

Culturally, the Japanese consider cleanliness and purity in daily life and actions to be extremely important.

Some Japanese philosophies see the toilet as a place of purification and renewal, and essential to the maintenance of personal hygiene and cleanliness of the home.

This cleanliness is also associated with good health and wealth, as it is believed a clean body and mind attract positive energy and abundance.

The cleanliness of public toilets has long been important. In the Edo period, public latrines were dirty and unsanitary.

To combat this, public officials introduced “toilet guardians,” who were responsible for keeping public toilets clean and free of disease.

Famous Japanese Toilet Cleaners 

Many of the great and good of Japan, are ardent toilet cleaners and attribute their success to this simple Japanese habit.

famous Japanese toilet cleaners 

Noteworthy proponents of toilet cleaning include:

Konosuke Matsushita 

Konosuke Matsushita (1894 to 1989) the Japanese industrialist who founded the electronics company Panasonic is a champion of the character-building benefits of taking time to give the toilet a deep clean.

In the 1920s, Matsushita noticed the neglected state of the toilet after participating in a company deep clean. To set a great example Matsushita went to the restrooms and thoroughly cleaned them himself.

For Matsushita, cleaning toilets presented the opportunity to impart a rightful mind, common sense, and good manners.

Takeshi Kitano

Takeshi Kitano is one of Japan’s most famous toilet cleaners.

The star and comedian with an estimated $20 million net worth has been cleaning the family toilet since he was a young child.

Kitano has said that this routine came from Feng Shui beliefs, but is now a regular habit that has helped him stay grounded while becoming successful. 

Soichiro Honda

Soichiro Honda (1906-1901), the founder of Honda felt that the state of a toilet could tell you everything you need to know about a family or business.

He said that a dirty toilet exposed that a company lacked leadership and morals. If company employees made the effort to clean the toilet, they would be demonstrating faithfulness in small things.

Hidesaburo Kagiyama

79-year-old Hidesaburo Kagiyama is the president of an auto supply and parts retail store, Yellow Hat.

He is also the founder of the Learning by Cleaning Association and one of the staunchest advocates for the benefits of a clean washroom.

Kagiyama has been cleaning toilets since his childhood in post-war Japan, often without gloves so he could feel hairs and debris!

He links a clean environment with a clean spirit and the productivity needed to accomplish big things. 

How to Clean Your Toilet Japanese Style

The Japanese make a habit of cleaning their toilets regularly.

How to Clean Your Toilet Japanese Style
Tips for cleaning a toilet Japanese style

Households and employees will head over to the toilets at least once a week, to maintain cleanliness and good fortune.

Cleaning the toilet regularly also avoids harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that may damage the toilet’s surface.

Here’s a typical Japanese routine for cleaning the toilet:

Before starting the toilet cleaning ritual, the Japanese will gather:

  • A toilet brush
  • Cleaning solution
  • Disposable gloves
  • A clean cloth

The following steps should be followed:

  1. Put on gloves to protect your hands from bacteria and germs.
  2. Apply the cleaning solution to the inside of the toilet bowl and let it sit for a few minutes.
  3. Use the toilet brush to scrub the inside of the bowl, paying special attention to the rim and under the rim.
  4. Flush the toilet to rinse away the cleaning solution and any debris.
  5. Use the cloth to wipe down the outside of the toilet, including the seat and lid.
  6. Dispose of the gloves and cleaning materials properly.


In Japan, clean toilets are not only a modern convenience but also something of cultural and spiritual value.

Toilet cleaning for money and good fortune dates back to ancient Japanese traditions, and it is still widely practiced today.

Japan’s clean toilets are a testament to the country’s commitment to innovation, cleanliness, and sustainability. They have become a symbol of Japanese culture and a source of pride for the Japanese people.

So will toilet cleaning in Japan make you rich? If Japanese celebrities and business magnates are to be believed, cleaning a toilet will make you rich and help you stay that way!

About the author

Latest Posts