Anyone who saw the recent Designs on your Loo television programme will know that the Japanese are as far ahead of Europeans at loo design as they are at cooking noodles. While staying in a Japanese inn, Robert Sakula made a sketch of this wc in his diary ('. . . worked at my table sipping green tea in my kimono with window open to the rain . . .'). The cistern lid doubles as a wash-hand basin; the flushed water comes into the lid first for hand rinsing and then continues into the pan to complete the flush. Obvious really.