Hesogomu Karametoru (Belly Button Sesame Mixer-Catchers) has been flying off the shelves of major department stores all over Japan, and it’s no surprise. This product fulfills a basic human need to clean one’s navel, otherwise known as “the forgotten orifice.”
Before the egghead biologists write in and complain: the belly button is not an orifice, but it certainly needs cleaning like one. In further medical news, Japanese people don’t have sesame seeds in their navels. It’s just the slang term for belly button lint.
Product maker Sosu may have hit the niche jackpot with this grossly underused idea. Up to now most of us have been left to improvisation, cleaning ourselves with whatever was lying around the house like broken glass, pipe cleaners, or the barrel of a handgun.
This kit replaces these effective but hazardous makeshift tools with a pack of 10 fluffy cotton swabs and a tube of organic, plant-based gel which absorbs dirt. If you haven’t figured it out yet, you put the gel on the swab and swish it around in your belly button for a time proportional to the number of sit-ups you need.
At the price of 1890 yen (US$24) you might be wondering why buy this instead of some regular Q-Tips and a tube of KY. First, you’d be spared the embarrassment of having to buy KY. Second, Sosu boasts their cotton swabs’ tips are three times as strong as the leading brand of Q-Tips (whose name escapes me at the moment).
And for those who scoff at proper belly button maintenance, last year the Belly Button Biodiversity Project found over 600 new species of bacteria living in people’s belly-button. Who knows? One of those species of bacteria may eradicate humankind as we know it.
So do the world a favor and clean that thing out, eh?