Welcome to my first column on this blog, soon every type of article will be placed in it’s own magikewl little world. In Tako’s Thingamajigs we will talk about the wonderfully weird and often kawaii gadgets of Japan. This time we will discuss a cute but very weird gadget called the Eco Hime, (Eco Princess). Like many gadgets in Japan it comes in a very cute hello kitty print.
The male society has it so easy with their bathroom habits, large trays where man pee brotherly are a common seen thing on festivals and nightclubs. Sure there is the urinal thing in which they don’t wanna stand next to each other all of the sudden, I mean what’s up with that versus that large tray thing?
The females or those who identify themselves differently may not share in the brotherly feeling of collective peeing. In fact as a girl you want as much privacy as you can get, Japan being a nation of prudes all the more.
Hearing a girl pee or having someone hear you go to tinkletown can be hugely embarrassing, lucikly Japan is on that case and they invented the Eco Hime.
A device that plays a twenty seven second sound of water flowing so you can mask that other sound of the babbling brook.
Having nearly no shame myself I found it a tad strange that such a device was needed but apparently it does rather well in Japan. As we know Japan loves their special toilets so it will not surprise anyone that this gadget started out as a function for a brand of toilets named Toto. However on popular demand a company named Sanrio started to produce a more portable version of the device, which in my honest octopus opinion is a already a much better idea. Research show that 82% of the ladies who admitted that they actually do urinate, find themselves more embarrassed outside the comfort of their own home. Of course this awkwardness at least in Japan leads to a vast majority of these women flushing the toilet more than once to mask their own noise.
This leads to a significant spillage of water and that is why the toilet noise canceller comes in handy and why it’s called the Economic Princess. These are facts, I am not even shitting you..speaking about shit I wonder if there is Hime for number two.
This hello Kitty Variant comes in two varieties, a purple one and a pink one.
Both feature Kitty’s head on a floral design and is topped with a sparkly little gem. For convenience the device is outfitted with a carabiner to attach it to your purse or a cute little strap to attach it to your phone.
Now I wonder why would ever want to strap it to your phone , cause I am pretty sure that can play sounds as well nowadays, it can even do better than playing some water sounds, it can play the music of Hatsune Miku. Who would hear you pee if you hear Miku singing, everyone would sing along with the world is mine instead! Then again you’d wanna dance as well so it might get messy, so back to our original gadget.
The device is powered by three interchangeable LR44 batteries and is about 5 centimeters in size around. It’s made from Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, yes tako knows these things, so it’s nice and light to carry around and won’t crack as soon as it hits the floor, which let’s be fair in a bathroom is a fair risk.
The device does come with a rather steep price tag though.
The device is about 5040 yen on most export sites and a tad cheaper if you buy it in japan itself.
This equals about €39,- euro’s or 35,- GBP if we use decent currencies.
Forty bucks for such a nifty gadget might seem okayish but let’s do some math here.
Though I am aware the prices vary, an average province in the netherlands charges about 0,0014 cents a liter, taking in consideration that most toilets flush economically nowadays a fair average of a reservoir is 6 liters. Meaning a single flush sets you back about 0.84 cents possibly even less.
Following that logic it takes you about 4643 flushes to earn your little gadget back. Women visit the toilet about 7 times a day on average, scratching one of those because it equal the big visit means Hello Kitty can play its sounds a maximum of six time a day. This means you need to use this device 774 days none stop before it becomes economically profitable. Taking into consideration that the sound problem isn’t that much of a problem in a home environment and one spends at least half their toilet visits at home it means that a Eco Hime is only profitable after four years of dedicated usage, and two years for the extremely shy who wish to use it in their home.
The biggest market for the gadget is the Japan itself and if you forget to flush in Japan (in a public restroom) you can be fined for about €50,-
In other words buying this gadget will just flush away your money, and no water sound can block that.