TOKYO--Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but crystals are clearly for asses.
The Satis loo is decked out in 72,000 Swarovski crystals and is valued at $130,000, according to Lixil. It's on display at the company's showroom just outside Tokyo's tony Ginza district.
"2011 was a really tough year for Japan, with the earthquake and tsunami disasters," says Lixil's Shintaro Kaai. "We wanted to do this to cheer everybody up just before Christmas."
Japan's toilets are renowned for high-tech functions such as automatic lid opening, adjustable sprays, and remote controls. Satis models come with standard spray functions and can operate on as little as 1 gallon per flush.
Toilet engineering, however, reflects traditional beliefs in a "toilet god," a Shinto deity who lives around loos. Keeping the bathroom clean would not only please the god. It was said to promise beauty and easy childbirth for women.
It's an old wives' tale, but last year singer Kana Uemura shot to fame with a chart-topping ballad about it entitled "Toire no Kamisama." It's a long, tearjerker tribute to Uemura's grandmother, who reminded her to always keep the toilet clean; here's the subtitled video.
The toilet deity would no doubt be pleased with Inax's crystal commode, and it won't be getting dirty anytime soon since it's not for sale.