Flatulence pants fly off the shelves in Japan | Connect Asia

Flatulence pants fly off the shelves in Japan

Flatulence pants fly off the shelves in Japan

Updated 24 December 2012, 14:48 AEDT

Fads are not uncommon in Japan and every now and again a particular product captures the imagination, and so much more.

The latest product to fly off the shelves is a flatulence-absorbing underpant which is proving popular with all age groups.

The company behind these odour-eating undies are now planning to go global.

Correspondent: Mark Willacy

Speaker: Nobuyuki Imai, producer of the flatulence pants

(Shopping centre crowd noise)

WILLACY: Here in shopping centres in Japan, like many places around the world, the Christmas rush is in full swing.

And just what do you buy someone who has everything? Well, Nobuyuki Imai reckons he has the very thing.

(Nobuyuki Imai speaking Japanese)

"Our underpants are 100 per cent cotton", he tells me.

"But they contain ceramic particles and metal ions. The ceramic absorbs the smell and the ions decompose it", Mr Imai says.

In other words, Nobuyuki Imai's company has developed flatulence-absorbing undies.

(Nobuyuki Imai speaking Japanese)

"Our initial target was old people with bowel issues", Mr Imai tells me.

"We were targeting nursing homes and hospitals, but then young people started buying them.

Apparently, people in all age groups have flatulence problems", he says.

WILLACY: Maybe Mr Imai senses my scepticism, so he decides to put his undies where his mouth is.

Grabbing a jar, he sprays in some ammonia, to replicate, well, a certain smell.

(Both laughing)

Oh yes. Oh, that's quite malodorous.

He then jams his jocks into the jar, gives it a shake, and opens the lid for me to take a whiff.

MARK WILLACY: Mmm! It's gone.

NOBUYUKI IMAI: OK.

MARK WILLACY: The ammonia has gone, the smell.

(Nobuyuki Imai speaking Japanese)

WILLACY: Mr Imai's company is closely guarding its odour-absorbing undies technology.

That's because it has applications well beyond underpants.

(Nobuyuki Imai speaking Japanese)

"Take socks for example", he says.

"We started selling them for men over 40, because we have tatami mat rooms in Japan and people have to take off their shoes.

So these men in particular worry about the smell of their feet", says Mr Imai.

Mr Imai's 120-year-old textile company has been bombarded with orders from around the world, proving that a fear of foul odour unites us all.

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