There's clearly nothing more boring than a bra that just sits there doing its job holding the goods in place. The folks at Japanese underwear maker Triumph International understand this very well. Just in time for planting season, they've introduced something perfect for the proverbial farmer's daughter--a rice paddy bra.
Replete with agricultural symbolism, My Tanbo Bra has cups that join to form a rice planter. The bra pads themselves are also arm coverings in disguise, so you won't get sunburned when you're toiling away in the fields. The bra straps feature shiny discs to ward off grain-thieving sparrows.
So it's not completely useless. The idea is that you take the bra off, put the two halves of the planter together and start your little rice crop. All you need is, er, adequate seed.
That's where the belt worn around the waist comes in. It's actually a length of water hose, on which you can sling some tubes to store the rice seedlings. Also hanging from the belt: a pouch of earth. They think of everything!
If you get your hands dirty, so to speak, you can wipe them on a pair of gloves sewn into boxer shorts that are part of the package; the gloves have the characters for "abundant harvest" emblazoned on them.
The boxers are even designed to evoke granny-style "monpe" pants worn by female field workers in Japan. Knowing the wide spectrum of perversion in the Land of the Rising Sun, I'm sure that will excite a certain male demographic.
Every six months Triumph comes up with a novelty brassiere that reflects current social issues or trends in Japan. Examples include the golf bra, with its own green; the husband-hunter bra, which has an LED countdown to a woman's target marriage date; and the solar panel bra to give your chemistry a boost of electricity.
For sheer sexiness and ingenuity, though, it's hard to beat Triumph's No Plastic Shopping Bag Bra, a silky red number that transforms into a reusable shopping bag.
Sadly, the rice paddy bra isn't for sale. However, it may highlight the sorry state of rice consumption in Japan, which has fallen to about half of what it was in 1960 amid the westernization of diets. The average age of people who grow the staple cereal is now about 60, according to The Japan Times.
Hopefully Triumph's bra will encourage a few younger people to start cultivating rice, which is as quintessentially Japanese as sushi, Mt. Fuji, and transforming underwear.