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Toot with abandon in odor-eating underwear

Smelling less than rosy down south? Or perhaps you'd like to break wind with wild abandon in public. Japan has your ticket to blissful flatulence.

Tim Hornyak
Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.
Tim Hornyak
2 min read

OK, I admit to having some high-tech Japanese underwear. I picked up some fairly routine HeatTech long johns from Uniqlo. They keep me extra warm in winter, but can't compare with these deodorizing briefs from Seiren.

Deoest underwear is coated with ceramic powder to absorb all kinds of less-than-pleasant body odors, from sticky perspirations to gaseous emanations. Metal ions in the powder break down malodorous compounds.

The promo vid below also tells us the powder works on kareishu, which can be translated as "old age smell." It refers to 2-nonenal, a smelly organic compound that researchers have linked to aging.

But even if you aren't starring in "Scent of a Geezer," you may want to protect your fellow man from the stink bombs you can't help but unleash on the subway or plane.

The briefs are coated with ceramic powder that destroys odors. Up to 80 percent are eliminated within 30 seconds, according to Seiren (whether they can stand up to North American gas remains to be seen). They apparently remain effective even after being washed 100 times.

The Neoest lineup has been on the market for some time now, but AFP reports that the briefs are proving a hit in Japan, especially among white-collar corporate warriors known as salarymen.

"At first we thought about selling them to those who require nursing care and to hospitals," Seiren spokeswoman Nami Yoshida told AFP. "But to our surprise, lots of ordinary people, like businessmen who are in positions that require them to see people on a daily basis, bought them."

Seiren was initially approached by a doctor who wanted underwear that could help people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, which is often characterized by frequent diarrhea.

It took years to develop underwear that was comfortable enough to wear on a daily basis and also good at killing the stink.

Seiren now has more than two dozen Deoest products, including socks, undershirts, and bedclothes. It even sells deodorizing blankets and face masks.

As for the briefs, guilt-free farts don't come cheap. You'll have to shell out 3,200 yen (nearly $40) for a pair of these rocket pants. But if you've got the cash, I bid you banzai!