What are Japanese used panties?

The social phenomenon of buying and selling used panties in Japan is almost legendary, but it is real. Long the preserve of small shops down dark alleys in the Akihabara district of Tokyo or suspicious mail order services, used panties are now more widely available than ever.

Some, such as those provided by adult toy brands like Tama Toys, offer only the "experience" or sensation of used panties. But others are genuine items donated or sold by actual women in Japan of all ages and backgrounds.

For the history of used panties in Japan, we have to go back to burusera, a portmanteau word from "bloomers" (schoolgirl panties) and sailor suit uniforms.

In the 1990s, magazines started to fetishize glamor models in bloomers and school uniforms. This was part of a vogue for schoolgirls that also include enjo kosai, or "compensation dating", between female students and adult men.

Shops started selling schoolgirl clothing, including apparently used items. Yes, there really are vending machines that sell supposedly used items of clothing, though these machines are now very rare. You are more likely to find them outside the big cities.

The police started to crack down on the shops from 1993 and unlicensed vendors faced possible fines or even imprisonment. Today the law has been changed to make it illegal to sell used panties or other such items provided by girls under 18 years of age.

On the other side, it is easier to find used panties or undergarments that provide a simulated experience of used panties through major adult retailers.

Where should you go to buy used panties in Japan? Your best bet is still the adult shops in Akihabara or Kabukicho, since navigating online auctions or other shops online is tricky in Japan.

And if you are not in Japan? They are also available now from Tokyo, shipped direct to your home.