TOTO
TOTO
  • 7. Origin and Evolution of Prefabricated Bathrooms and Bathroom Vanity Units - Pursuit of Comfortable Living
  • Prologue Two Products Realized in a Generation of Quantity
  • Japan achieved rapid economic growth in a short period of less than 20 years after the World War II. The prefabricated bathrooms and bathroom vanity units created in the 1960s when construction of hotels and residences was booming, emphasized a lifestyle and experience with attention to plumbing equipment spaces.
  • 7 Origin and Evolution of Prefabricated Bathrooms and Bathroom Vanity Units ─ Pursuit of Comfortable Living
  • Prefabricated bathrooms and bathroom vanity units became common quickly as a result of TOTOs endless perseverance in plumbing equipment over many years. Their prevalence cemented the unique Japanese bathroom and washroom culture. We will always continue our pursuit of even richer lifestyles without conforming to preconceived ideas.
  • Chapter 1  Origin of Prefabricated Bathroom Development
  • Challenge of Reducing Time for Construction
  • We believed the Tokyo Olympics that were held in 1964 were the perfect opportunity to generate appeal on an international stage. We furthered our hotel construction to gain acceptance by tourists visiting from abroad in addition to our work in sports facilities. The decision to build the Hotel New Otani, which was the first skyscraper hotel in Japan, was made one year before the Olympics was held in January 1963. We were confronted with a labor shortage during this construction boom. In strict conditions that required three years of conventional construction to be done in 17 months, the greatest challenge that we faced in reducing the construction period was the installation of bathrooms and other plumbing equipment. The Taisei Corporation, which was involved in the design and installation, requested several manufacturers to propose new construction methods. One of those manufacturers was TOTO.
  • Chapter 2  Birth of the First Prefabricated Bathroom
  • Investigate the Surmountable Requirements to Develop New Approaches
  • TOTO launched its development project in July 1963 after receiving Taisei Corporation’s request. As a result of research into the surmountable requirements to achieve a new approach with TOTO Chigasaki Plant (Kanagawa Prefecture) at the core, we developed a semi-cubing system that delivered plumbing equipment as a unit assembled at the factory in advance.This approach evolved Fiber-Reinforced Plastics (FRP) to bathtubs and washroom counters for weight savings and easier delivery. The weight of a two-ton conventional bathroom was reduced roughly 730 kg. Thanks to these innovations and hard work, we succeeded in reducing the three weeks to one month required for conventional construction of each bathroom to only three to five days (one day of assembly). In December 1963, the hotel decided to officially adopt our prefabricated bathroom in 1,044 rooms. With the cooperation of the Taisei Corporation and Nishihara Engineering Co., Ltd., we completed construction from plant fabrication to on-site installation of the bathrooms in all 1,044 rooms in roughly three and a half months.This is how the first prefabricated bathroom was brought to fruition. The installation ease, simplicity of maintenance, better waterproofing, and superior design garnered a wide range of attention from the construction industry.
  • Example of Hotel New Otani installation
  • Praised for not only efficient construction but also simplicity in maintenance and beauty
  • Chapter 3  Origins of the Bathroom Vanity Unit
  • Another Unit Product Released for Washroom Spaces
  • A new unit product was created for plumbing spaces in residences in 1966. This was the washroom unit. A washroom space does not exist in a traditional Japanese house. The kitchen sink was generally used for brushing teeth and other things typical of a washroom. A wall-mounted sink was embraced for the first time in public apartments after the Japan Housing Corporation (Urban Renaissance Agency today) was established in 1955. However, a vast amount of labor was required from securing the sink to the wall to embedding the drainage pipes therein. The Japan Housing Corporation switched to the washroom unit system placed directly on the floor that secured the sink atop a wooden cabinet. TOTO followed this demand with the development and delivery of its own washroom unit (JLU66). This became the product foundation for the bathroom vanity unit in the market today.
  • Washroom unit (JLU66)
  • This washroom unit was developedwith the changes in people’s households
  • Chapter 4  Birth of the Bathroom Vanity Unit
  • Bathroom Vanity Unit Pursuing Appeal as a Product
  • TOTO also started development of general household products at the same time based on the washroom units tailored to the specifications of the Japan Housing Corporation. In January 1968, we added a counter and combination faucet while varying the color and design to release a bathroom vanity unit that improved appeal as a product. The bathroom vanity unit gradually increased sales on the wave of residential demand by incorporating storage and modern designs loved by customers. TOTO also worked with famous fashion designer Pierre Cardin to release the Cardin Bathroom Vanity Unit in 1975. The daring design rocked the market to become an unconventional hit at the time.
  • Bathroom vanity unit released in 1968. Cardin Bathroom Vanity Unit
  • The bathroom vanity unit that improved appeal as a product gradually increased sales on the wave of residential demand by incorporating storage and modern designs loved by customers
  • Chapter 5  Inspirations from Marketing
  • Development of a Shampoo Dresser Bathroom Vanity as a Bathroom Vanity Unit to Wash Hair
  • The maturity of the Japanese market and the diversity of customer demand progressed into the 1980s to put the proposition of differentiating our bathroom vanity units from competitor's center stage. In a survey conducted with housewives about bathroom vanity units in the household, we discovered the needs for not only a place to wash faces and brush teeth but also wash hair and laundry that we were not fully aware of before. In particular, we found an increase in the number of times women washed their hair on average while also revealing a greater number of people who were washing their hair while still in their clothes. This sparked the development of a bathroom vanity unit that would assist people washing their hair while still wearing their clothes. In 1985, we released the first shampoo dresser bathroom vanity that brought the added functionality for hair washing. Thereafter, the shampoo dresser bathroom vanity grew in popularity to drive the morning shampoo boom with young women who washed their hair before school or before work.
  • First shampoo dresser bathroom vanity. Clear Series shampoo dresser bathroom vanity
  • The shampoo dresser bathroom vanity ignited the morning shampoo craze that responded to not only the needs to wash faces and brush teeth but also wash hair
  • Chapter 6  Establishment of Washroom Spaces
  • Versatile Applications and Functionality of Bathroom Vanity Units
  • Innovations appeared in the functionality of washroom spaces as Japan entered its economic bubble. The washroom space was a place to take off or put on clothes before or after a bath. This space also became the place to wash clothes, moving washing machines once placed outside to the washroom. The collection and unification of plumbing equipment functionality that included grooming routines in the home evolved. In-line with these trends, TOTO released the laundry dresser bathroom vanity with the goal of bettering laundry chores in 1995. A wall-mounted faucet installed before our competitors allowed the washbowl to be used more broadly while enhancing storage capabilities for the cabinet under the washbowl. These ingenuities establishe the washroom as a multi-purpose space with the pursuit of diverse functions able to satisfy various applications all in a bathroom vanity unit.
  • Laundry dresser bathroom vanity
  • Chapter 7  Dawn of the System Bathroom
  • Development of Prefabricated Bathrooms Chosen for Single Family Homes
  • Our prefabricated bathrooms boasted record sales increasing 150% year-on-year that exceed 10,000 units per month in 1985, which was the same year the shampoo dresser bathroom vanity was released. In 1988, a large variation of fixtures from bathtubs to showers became available in addition to the color and materials for the floors and walls of single family homes, and prefabricated bathrooms were selected by customers for the order-made feel. We developed products suitable for single-family homes during the transition from the uniform mass production age to an era that emphasizes individuality.
  • Poster (left) and catalog (right) for the Furopia Series prefabricated bathroom chosen for its order-made feel
  • Chapter 8  Rave Sensation in the Prefabricated Bathroom Industry
  • Karari floor Transformed Common Practices
  • TOTO released new products one after another that challenged conventional thinking in both their bathrooms in 2001 with the turn of the century. The Karari floor spearheaded a sensational transformation in the prefabricated bathroom industry. We began the challenge to achieve a quick-dry floor which would upset conventionality by grabbing hold of customer feedback that expressed how slowly floors took to dry in prefabricated bathrooms. A large amount of trial-and-error lead us to new water processing and an ideal groove pattern to succeed in not only flushing water away more quickly but also gradually and fully drying water by delaying a minimum amount of water and pulling it into the grooves while breaking the surface tension of large droplets using the water that remained.The Karari floor realized a bright and dry space that you can go into with your socks on in the morning. Karari floor became a hit unlike any other in history to be instantly accepted as a standard at each company involved in prefabricated 
bathrooms.
  • Furopia KV Series, Karari floor, Mechanism to break surface tension and fully dry remaining water
  • The floors of prefabricated bathrooms are hard to dry. Karari floor changed conventional thinking by drying so quickly owners could8 wear socks on them the next morning.
  • Chapter 9  Enhanced Quality Through Optimization of Development and Production
  • Insulated thermal pot “Mahobin” bathtub and Success of Constant Innovation
  • In 2004, we developed the insulated thermal pot “Mahobin” bathtub following the success of our Karari floors to offer better heat insulation capabilities able to sustain the hot water temperature for almost six hours within 3°C (within 2°C over 1.5 hours for conventional products). Thereafter, the industry accepted the thermal insulating bathtub as a base for the standard specifications in Japan. Enhancing productivity that would further accelerate the introduction of new products became critical in 2012. We confronted this challenge with the introduction of platforming floor structures. This floor structure was integrated as a fundamental part of our main products from our products in single family homes and new condominiums to those for condominium renovations. We built a system to shift to activities able to bring about even greater value by of course limiting substantial costs but also concentrating on our strength in development.
  • Insulated thermal pot “Mahobin” bathtub. Superior heat insulation capabilities only losing 2 °C over 6 hours
  • Thermal insulating bathtubs offer better heat insulation capabilities able to sustain the hot water temperature within 2°C for over six hours
  • Chapter 10  Epilogue
  • Sharing the Plumbing Culture Originating in Japan
  • The prefabricated bathroom that began with delivery to the Hotel New Otani in 1964 was accepted into Japanese households and largely evolved as a product to realize offer greater comfort and environmental performance to bring about the evolution of lifestyles around plumbing equipment. These prefabricated bathrooms reached an almost 90% share of the Japanese bathroom market for over fifty years until today.Looking back, TOTO has held an ideal to continually pioneer the best products able to change the world. We have inherited the same passion for development as our predecessors. Our mission to revolutionize conventional thinking overseas has just begun. Asas we consider how to expand and share our products overseas,  overseas while we utilizeswe’ll utilize the brand strength of TOTO built in toilet spaces  through the various technology technologies and the culture nurtured in bathroom and washroom spaces that spearheaded our unique growth in Japan.
  • Current bathroom space (right/SYNLA) and washroom space (bottom-left/ESCUA)Space proposed in China and other countries overseas (top-left)
  • We will share this plumbing culture overseas with our passion for development as our strength.