Crazy Vending Machine Items: Used Women's Underwear?

Used Women's UnderwearUsed Women's Underwear

 Used women’s underwear, it has been a much told “urban legend” that you can find these for purchase in some of Japan’s vending machines.  This claim has to be false, right?  After some research on used panty vending machines, I’m not so sure.

With well-deserved bragging rights of having the densest vending machine to person ratio (about 23 vending machines for each person), Japan is known for possessing some of the world’s most bizarre vending machines.  You can honestly buy just about anything from a vending machine there, crabs and underwear included (that’s a gross combination).

Japanese Underwear Vending MachineJapanese Underwear Vending Machine

Apparently back in the day, Japanese school girls would make money by selling their used undergarments and uniforms to…well, anyone who was in the market for soiled underwear.  Purportedly, if a genuine picture of the girl who wore them was included, the underwear fetched a higher price.  Close your mouth, your utter shock and disbelief are showing.  Vending machines that sold pre-worn women’s underwear sold the unmentionables from anywhere to 1,000 to 3,000 yen which is roughly $10 to $30 US Dollars.  

Women's Underwear Vending MachineWomen's Underwear Vending Machine

Beginning in 1993, Police began to crack down on the burusera industry (buruma translating to bloomers, and sera-fuku meaning sailor suit) by arresting those caught trying to sell used underwear.  In 2004, Tokyo banned the sale of used underwear from girls under 18.  So while you may not be able to buy used women’s underwear from a vending machine, you can still buy un-soiled women’s underwear from vending machines that are made to look like young women’s pre-owned underwear and are sprayed with perfume.  Don’t believe me?  You can watch a video of someone doing so below if you'd like.

Though selling used underwear is now considered illegal, there are reports from travelers that vending machines stocked with used underwear are still alive and well in the more remote areas of Japan.  Used women’s underwear, the 8th World Wonder?

Sources: InventorSpot, Wikipedia and AlterNet