Ah Japan… the birthplace of the kimono, sushi, karate, sumo and erm, ultra-thin condoms?!
Thats right, in the condom world Japan is famous for producing some of the thinnest condoms ever seen. Here’s the run down.
Sagami Rubber Industry Co., Ltd. (Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture) were founded in 1934 and were the first manufacturer of condoms in Japan.
The company invented coloured condoms as well as owning the title of manufacturing the thinnest condom in the world – the Sagami 001.
Sagami Original 001
At just 0.01mm thick, the Sagami 001 is six times thinner than a human hair.
Sagami launched the ultra-thin polyurethane condom on the 18th November 2014 following 10 years of development. Retailers promptly sold out, selling 30,000 units (at $13 each) within two weeks.
Chiaki Yamanaka spent seven years as the Senior Researcher on the project – dedicating every day to making the thinnest condom possible.
“I repeated the work of making prototypes and experimenting one at a time, repeatedly making 20,000 pieces of trial & error, it is a crystal of sweat and tears”
– Chiaki Yamanaka
So, is it any good?
‘”Once you can use it, you will definitely be satisfied,” said Mr. Yamanaka 🙂
Okamoto were, funnily enough, also founded in 1934. The company was formed following the merger of four companies; Nippon Gum Industries,Ltd., Riken Rubber Co.,Ltd.,and Okamoto Rubber Co., Ltd (all in 1934) and then Nippon Riken Rubber Co., Ltd in 1958.
Okamoto is the #1 selling condom brand in Japan and best known for their 0.02, 0.03 and OK series of condoms.
All Okamoto condoms are made from a polyurethane based material they call Sheerlon (TM). The company claims the material offers ‘a silkier, more “bareback” feel without any rubbery latex smell.’
Controversially, Okamoto position their condoms as being of even thickness throughout. The company calls out ‘competitors who claim to be the thinnest’ (basically Sagami) for creating condoms that are only ‘thinnest’ at the base of the condom – not where it matters most.
The company also sells their condoms in the USA under the ‘Beyond Seven’ brand.
Finally, the brand also released this amazingly cheesy ad which – you’ll just have to take our word – is worth a watch.