Nice to meet you: 54% of Japanese men don’t wash their hands after using the restroom

With futuristic expectations of Japanese people with innovations like the automated hands-free toilets, it may be shocking to know that over half of Japanese men may be neglecting the simplest of ways to stay hygienic: washing their hands after using the restroom. Many Japanese spend their days meeting people, typing away on their computers/phones, and eating convenient foods that don’t require utensils. Perhaps this is why they prefer bowing rather than shaking hands.

Question for 100 Japanese men in their 20s and 30s: do you wash your hands after using the restroom?

  • I always wash my hands: 46
  • I don’t wash my hands: 22
  • Depends on the situation: 32

Why don’t men wash their hands after they use the restroom? (age and industry in parenthesis)

“It’s a hassle, and I don’t think my genitals are that dirty. The faucet handles are probably dirtier. I don’t wash if it’s an automated sensor either, though. (laughs)” (37, advertising agency)

“I don’t carry a handkerchief with me, and those hand dryers don’t work very well. I don’t like the time I lose after I wash my hands.” (29, civil service)

“Because I can use the urinal without touching my genitals.” (27, unemployed)

Additionally, here are the reasons for those who answered “Depends on the situation”:

“When I’m in a public restroom I wash my hands for appearance sake. At home I don’t. Like if I use a restroom at a train station, if someone is there I’ll wash my hands, since I don’t want them to think ‘Oh man, this guy left the restroom without washing his hands.’ I don’t want people thinking about me like that.” (26, book store)

“It depends on if I brought a handkerchief that day or not.” (39, automotive industry)

“I don’t want to touch faucet handles, so if it’s an automated sensor I’ll wash. It also depends on the flushing mechanism of the toilet, if it’s a button or a sensor.” (26, trade school student)

For those wondering, I wash my hands 100% of the time, every time.

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