The wash basins of the ancients were generally double, or provided with pitchers, and this is shown in the sculptures and paintings of Egypt and in the figures on the bas reliefs and pottery of Grecian antiquity. Figure 294 shows the manner in which these early lavatories were used. They were quite large and made of silver or copper with pitcher to correspond. They were smooth on the inside so as not to retain dirt or soap, but engraved sometimes very richly on the outside. In use they were placed upon the floor, and the bather was obliged to rest upon the knees, and in this way the basin was used as a bath tub, not only for the head and hands, but for the whole body.
I am indebted to the kindness of my friend Prof. Edward S. Morse for permission to reproduce a number of illustrations of Japanese bathing appliances from his most delightful and instructive work entitled "Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings," in this course. Simple con-
Fig. 294. Fifteenth Century Lady at Her Toilet from Viollet le Duc† veniences exist in Japanese houses for taking a hot or cold bath, as we shall show under Bath Tubs, but wash basins are more primitive. "In the country" says Prof. Morse, "a Japanese may be seen in the yard or by the roadside washing his face in a bucket or shallow tub, and at inns and even in private houses one is given a copper
†Dirtionnaire du Mobilier Francais, Vol. 2. Published by A. Morel, Paris.
Fig. 295. Japanese Wash Basin.‡
Fig. 296. Japanese Wash Basin.‡ basin, and, a bucket of water being brought, he uses a portion of the verandah as a wash stand." The one shown in Fig. 295 shows how the Japanese of modern times perpetuate mediaeval customs, the shallow trough on the floor corresponding with the carved silver or copper utensils of the ancient days. The Japanese lavatory consists of a shallow trough resting on the floor at the end of the verandah or passageway containing a copper basin and a stout water bucket with cover.
‡From "Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings," by Edward Morse.
Fig. 297. Simplicity in Plumping Appliances. Japanese Lady at Her Toilet.*
The bather must crouch upon the ground in order to use this basin, like the people of the past.
Another illustration of floor lavatory is shown in Fig. 296. It was placed at the end of the verandah. "A low partition formed a screen at one side; within the recess thus made was a low shelf for the pottery water jar. The floor of the sink consisted of bamboo rods placed close together, through which the spilled water found its way by proper channels to the ground without. A paper lantern hung against the wall, and dipper and towel rack were conveniently at hand."
*From Japan Illustre by Aime Humbert Libraire de l'Hachette et Cie, Paris. 1S70.
The ornamental woodwork in these lavatories is often
Fig. 298. Japanese Wash Stand.* very attractive, but the waste water disposal is exceedingly primitive and objectionable in every way.
It is difficult for us, moreover, to understand how the Japanese find comfort in the cramped position necessary to use these low set wash basins.
Fig. 298 shows a form of lavatory more familiar to us. It is a private house in Tokio in a recessed portion of a passageway behind a suite of rooms. Sliding windows with white paper panes admitted light to this most attractive and carefully finished toilet room with its quaint towel rack and neat and simple natural furnishings. The water jar is of rich brown pottery, the dipper of wood and the basin of copper. Prof. Morse says of it: "It may seem odd for one to get enthusiastic over so simple an affair as trough and a few honest contrivances for washing the hands and face; nevertheless such a plain and sensible arrangement is a relief, in contrast to certain guest chambers at home, where one wishing to go through the rather vigorous performance of dashing into the water with his elbows outstretched finds these free movements curtailed to the last degree by a regiment of senseless toilet articles in the shape of attenuated bottles, mugs, soap dishes with rattling covers and diminutive top-heavy pitchers crowded about his wash basin, and all resting on a slab of white marble. Things are inevitably broken if they are brought down too hard upon such a bottom. After such recollections, one admires the Japanese sink, with its durable flat-bottomed basin, capacious pottery jar for water, and ample space to thrash about in without fear of spattering the wall paper or smashing a lot of useless toilet articles in the act."
*From Prof. Morse's "Japanese Homes.'"
This comparison is with our portable basin and pitcher, the neat Japanese wooden sink taking the place of our troublesome and uninviting slop pail with its perforated cover, upon which the tormented bather is expected to guide the waste water from the basin after use with unerring hand or find half its contents on the carpet. Neither arrangement, however, can compare for a moment with our hygienic and generous city lavoratories, where ample space is provided by a broad slab for free and luxurious bathing, and a judicious arrangement of soap dish and other conveniences on a special shelf above. We must, however, in our cities sacrifice a portion of our thrashthe waste pipe and trap. The result is imperfect flushing of these pipes and traps, gradual accumulation of filth in