pail toilet kit japan product design tamagawa

Pail Toilet Kit by Tamagawa Craft Inc.

Today marks the 4th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. While we remember those affected by the travesty, at DMIJ we also look at ways in which Japanese design skills were used for the greater good during the disaster.


Tamagawa Craft Inc. is a Japanese company based in Tokyo and is active in the development of various manufacture projects. The Pail Toilet Kit was designed by Tamagawa Craft Inc. for emergency disaster relief purposes. When catastrophe strikes, people can be left without any food, water, or shelter for days on end. Emergency kits for food and water already exist and are commonly used, but an emergency kit for going to the bathroom is not quite as common. An easy, compact and light kit, the Pail Toilet Kit is already used by the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition team and in various eco-friendly events. It was also used during the Great East Japan Earthquake in emergency shelters and the product has been since adopted by various Japanese Prefectural governments.

pail toilet kit

One Pail Toilet Kit contains enough supplies to last a family of four for one week.

pail toilet kit japan product design tamagawapail_toilet_1pail toilet kit

The kit boasts an easy-to-assemble tent structure, pale, toilet seat, and all of the other essentials (tp, hand wipes, etc.) all in a compact portable kit. Disposable is apparently also quite easy (although we have not actually used the Pail Kit so cannot personally attest to this) which hopefully gives you some ease instead of adding to the amount of things you need to worry about when you’re in the middle of catastrophe.

pail toilet kit

In Antarctica

The toilet is also used in extreme conditions and temporary settings. Most notably, it has was used by the 44th Antarctic Research Expedition in 2002 more than 10 years, and more recently in the 2013 during the Hasegawa Tsuneo CUP, a mountain endurance race.

pail toilet kitpail toilet kitpail toilet kit

Author Information


Art director / Graphic designer / Illustrator

Eli Nygren is a graphic designer/project manager from Maui, Hawai'i. He is fluent in Japanese and English and is currently based in Tokyo. In addition to design, he loves music, camping, surfing, cooking and reading.

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