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Used Panties

You can buy almost anything from vending machines in Japan but the most famous product, used panties, is no longer available.

The machines, catering to the bura-sera (schoolgirl obsession) of many Japanese men, appeared in 1993.

The soiled underwear, also available at specialist bura-sera shops, is sometimes accompanied by a photo of the panties' former owner - like a seal of authentication.

The machines were met with public outcry, but there was no direct statute banning the trade. Cunningly, three traders were charged under the Antique Dealers Law, requiring dealers in second-hand goods to get permission from the local authority, and the panties disappeared from the streets.

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