The Washlet Revolution: From Invention to Modern Luxury

The Washlet Revolution: From Invention to Modern Luxury

In the realm of bathroom innovations, the Washlet, which is a term coined by TOTO for the modern bidet, stands as a testament to human creativity and the pursuit of comfort and cleanliness. In this blog post, we embark on a journey through time to explore the origins, inventor, cost, and evolution of the first Washlet, a pioneering invention that has reshaped our daily bathroom experiences.

The Invention of the First Washlet:

The concept of the washlet traces its roots to Japan, a country known for its rich history of technological advancements. The first washlet was developed by the Japanese company, TOTO. In 1980, TOTO introduced the Washlet G, marking a pivotal moment in the history of bathroom technology.

The Inventor:

The visionary behind the first Washlet was Kazuchika Okura, the founder of TOTO. Inspired by a desire to improve bathroom hygiene and comfort, Okura embarked on a journey to create a revolutionary product that would redefine the way people experienced personal hygiene.

Cost and Accessibility:

Upon its release, the Washlet G was considered a luxury product. Its advanced features, including a heated seat, adjustable water temperature, and air drying, made it a symbol of sophistication and comfort. The initial cost of the first Washlet was 149,000 yen (around $660 in 1980). 

The Evolution of the Washlet:

Over the decades, the washlet underwent remarkable transformations, both in terms of technology and accessibility:

1. Technological Advancements: The washlet's features continued to evolve, incorporating innovations such as remote controls, oscillating water jets, air purification systems, and eco-friendly modes. These enhancements not only elevated the washlet's performance but also contributed to sustainability and resource conservation.

2. Global Spread: As technology improved and manufacturing processes became more efficient, Washlets gradually became more accessible to a broader audience. Today, they are not limited to Japan but can be found in bathrooms worldwide.

3. Public Adoption: Many public spaces, including hotels, airports, and upscale restaurants, have integrated Washlets into their facilities, providing guests with the luxury and hygiene of these advanced devices.

4. Various Models and Price Ranges: With the growing popularity of Washlets, a range of models catering to different budgets and preferences have emerged. This diversity allows consumers to select the Washlet that best suits their needs.

5. Smart and Connected: In the digital age, Washlets have become smarter and more connected. Some models can be controlled via smartphone apps, enabling users to customize their bathroom experience with ease.


The invention of the first Washlet by Kazuchika Okura and its introduction by TOTO marked a pivotal moment in the history of bathroom technology. What began as a luxury item has evolved into an accessible and widespread bathroom amenity, redefining personal hygiene and comfort. The Washlet's journey from its inception in 1980 to the present day is a testament to human innovation and our ongoing quest for a better and more enjoyable bathroom experience.