History of the Toilet Paper

When you mention the name Toto, what do you think of? Is it a band that fits into your current musical tastes or does it evoke visions of the early days of the band Blondie? Is it a band that defines classic rock? Or can you imagine yourself being blown away by their unique sound?


As the name implies, Toto is a band from the 70s which has achieved considerable popularity in the United States. This is quite an accomplishment considering they only formed in the mid seventies. The band’s initial lineup consisted of Steve Lukather, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones. The band had quickly gained popularity, especially in the United States, where their songs “I Walk The Line” and “I Want To Break Free” became hits. A subsequently handwritten song, “Tiger”, which was never recorded, is the only song the group has released without any vocals.

A Tin Man is credited for many songs throughout the history of pop music. A Tin Man, also known as “Tot” is credited with coining the phrase, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”, which was used by The Beach Boys in their hit song, “American Pie”. A Tin Man also contributed to the instrumental for George Harrison’s track, “My Sweet Lord”. More recently, The Replacements featured a cover of The Beach Boys song, “I Want To Break Free”. In 2004, Tim Rice changed his name to “Tot O Toto” when he was involved in an accident.

There are many who claim ownership of this particular Toto. One such individual is Richard W. Rice, Jr., who claims to be the creator of the design. According to Mr. Rice, the inspiration for the toto washlet stemmed from a boy who painted a toilet seat with a toilet bowl on it. Mr. Rice wanted to incorporate the same imagery into a children’s bedding but with a twist-around so that the child would see himself using the bed. This was how the now famous toilet-spray wand came to be.

Many people argue that Toto’s creation is nothing more than an over-used icon of the 20th century. Proponents to this argument point out that many manufacturers have copied the toto-washlet’s basic shape and color. Also, the hand-wash feature which allows the user to simply dip the washcloth into the bidet’s water source is seen as a step forward in innovation by some. Some would argue against the notion that advertising was done to promote sales, claiming that such marketing techniques were adopted long before corporations realized they could use such methods to gain customers. Regardless of these points of contention, the toto washlet continues to be a staple of Japanese home decorating.

When looking at the role that the toto plays in the Japanese bathroom, it is safe to assume that there will never be a time when toilet paper will make a comeback. With the limited space allotted for toilet papers and the amount of money needed for their purchase, it is simply not a viable option. Japanese toilet accessories such as the bidet and hand-wash towel have replaced them in most homes. If you want to recreate the look of traditional Japanese toilet paper, you can find accessories to help you do just that.