"The first toilet paper was produced by the Bureau of Imperial Supplies in China, which made 720,000 sheets measuring 2ft by 3ft, for the emperor, in AD1391. Henry VIII employed a �Groom of the Stool� to ensure �the house of easement be sweet and clear� by cleaning the monarch�s behind with his hand. "
One of the first adjustments a newcomer to Taiwan must make is to get used to the ghastly toilet-side wastepaper bucket, necessary because Taiwan toilets cannot, or will not, take the paper. The most plausible explanation I have heard is that this is due to population density issues (see post just below). My own preference is for the wonderful Japanese toilets with an upward warm water jet option. I am, I must say, a rather warm opponent of the "Groom of the Stool" idea.