Exhibitions and Events

Antique Toilet Collection: Historical Toilet Bowls and Their Vibrant Designs
INAX MUSEUMS

Antique Toilet Collection: Historical Toilet Bowls and Their Vibrant Designs

In past times, lavatories were known as gofujo, referring to unclean spaces that were kept out of sight. The late 1860s and onward saw a transformation to the use of toilet bowls crafted from durable pottery, however, which were sanitary devices that were able to be wiped clean. Some featured luxurious sometsuke (blue and white) decor, while others were decorated with blue and green glaze applied in both vertical and horizontal patterns. With their colorful designs, the fixtures brightened the dark spaces where toilets were traditionally located.


Each of these antique toilets has its own distinct features based upon chromatics, patterning and shape. We invite you to come peruse this unique world!


※The antique toilet collection of the INAX MUSEUMS includes those belonging to Mr. Takashi Semba, a prominent collector in the genre.

  • Lavatory footwear
  • Morning glory urinal, Two Glaze Green Blue Bamboo Pattern(Akasaka, Stoneware, Late 19th century-first half of 20th century)
  • Oval squat toilet bowl, Blue-and-White Lotus Pond and Heron Pattern (Seto, Stoneware, early 20th century)
  • photo: Kazufumi Nakamura
  • Lavatory footwear
  • Morning glory urinal, Two Glaze Green Blue Bamboo Pattern(Akasaka, Stoneware, Late 19th century-first half of 20th century)
  • Oval squat toilet bowl, Blue-and-White Lotus Pond and Heron Pattern (Seto, Stoneware, early 20th century)
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