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Burusera (ブルセラ) is a Japanese word coined by combining burumā (ブルマー), meaning bloomers as in bottoms of gym suits, and sērā-fuku (セーラー服), meaning sailor suit, the traditional Japanese school uniforms for schoolgirls.
Burusera shops sell used girls' gym suits, as well as school uniforms including Catholic school uniforms. They also sell other goods procured from schoolgirls, e.g. undergarments, school mizugi (スクール水着) for physical education, socks, stationery, sanitary napkins, tampons, saliva, urine and others.
The clothes are often accompanied by ostensibly genuine photos of the girls wearing them. The clients are men who smell or otherwise experience the panties for sexual stimulation. Vending machines were once used to sell packaged used panties.
Schoolgirls used to openly participate in the sale of their used panties, either through burusera shops or using mobile phone sites to sell directly to clients. When laws banning the purchase of used underwear from minors were introduced in Tokyo in 2004 it was reported that some underage girls were instead allowing their clients (called kagaseya (嗅がせ屋) or sniffers) to sniff their underwear from directly between their legs. Others chose to sell photos of themselves, throwing in the used panties for free.
In August 1994, a burusera shop manager who made a schoolgirl sell her used underwear was arrested by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department on suspicion of violation of article 34 of the Child Welfare Act and article 175 of the Criminal Code. The Police exposed the company and the owner under suspicion of violation of the Secondhand Articles Dealer Act which bans the purchase of secondhand goods without authorization.
Child pornography laws imposed legal control over the burusera industry in 1999. However, burusera goods in themselves are not child pornography, and selling burusera goods are an easy way for schoolgirls to gain extra income. This has been viewed with suspicion as child sexual abuse.
Prefectures in Japan began enforcing regulations in 2004 that restricted purchases and sales of used underwear, saliva, urine, and feces of people under 18. Existing burusera shops stock burusera goods from women at least 18 years old — most of them are alumnae of high schools.
- 警察白書 (Police White Paper), 1994. (in Japanese)
- 児童買春，児童ポルノに係る行為等の処罰及び児童の保護等に関する法律 (Act on Punishment of Activities Relating to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and the Protection of Children)
- The Ninth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment Offenders Cairo, Egypt: A Report from the Japan Federation of Bar Associations to the Ninth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, March 1995, Japan Federation of Bar Associations.
- 東京都青少年の健全な育成に関する条例 (Tokyo Metropolitan Ordinance on Juvenile Protection) Articles 15, 15-2 and 15-3. (in Japanese)