Bathroom in Japanese style
Bathroom in Japanese style
Bathroom in Japanese style (furo) is designed to be used by more than one person at a time. It is deep enough for the water to cover the shoulders of a seated person, so that if one sits with knees tucked up, two or more people may sit together. One is expected to scrub down and rinse oneself off outside the bathtub before getting into it for the tub is simply for warming and relaxing the body. In Japan, small children often enter the tub with their mother or father. Then, it is not simply a matter of taking a bath to clean oneself, but is also an opportunity to talk about all that has happened during the day. Another pleasant custom is for people to wash each other’s backs before soaking together.
Layout, Materials, and Setting First of all, the area used for washing one’s body is outside the bathtub. It usually has a shower attachment high up on the wall, and hot and cold water taps lower down. A place for the water to drain away is of course also necessary.
The shower attachment should be flexible enough so that it can be used by a person either standing or sitting on a small stool. To wash oneself, one takes water from the bathtub in a small pail, but a shower attachment alone will suffice.
Some bathtubs are fairly small, but a length of at least four feet is desirable, since this is roughly the length taken up by an adult sitting with legs outstretched. As for width, one person requires about 32-36 inches. The tub should be deep enough for the water to cover the shoulders of a seated adult. However, if a bathtub of this depth is simply placed on the floor of the bathroom, getting into it becomes a hazardous business. It is usually, therefore, sunk a little into the floor. When this is not possible, a step or ledge can be built inside or outside the bathtub.
Another characteristic of the Japanese bath is that the water is not changed after each person is done. Since it is used only for drawing water and soaking, the same water can be shared by everyone. A wood or plastic cover is placed over the tub when it is not being used to keep the water warm and to reduce the amount of water vapor. The water can also be reheated as necessary. The usual method is for the water to be taken out through a pipe in the bottom of the bathtub and heated in a small boiler, before being fed back into the tub.
Wood, especially Japanese cypress with its marvelous fragrance, is the best material for a tub, but recently fiberglass-reinforced plastic and stainless steel tubs have become popular. Wood may be used for the removable slatted platform placed on the floor of the washing area, and for the walls. The use of rock or stone for the tub and the walls creates the atmosphere of a natural hot spring. Since the bath is a place for relaxation, it is a
good idea to design it in such a way to give one the impression of bathing in natural surroundings.