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'Little Miss Period' tackles Japan's menstruation taboos with a punch

57 Comments
By Linda Sieg

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57 Comments
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Once again, instead of dealing with a health issue/topic straight forward, folks just gotta go the cartoon route and downplay the issue!

Personally speaking the people who came up with this need a slap upside the head

8 ( +22 / -14 )

Once again, instead of dealing with a health issue/topic straight forward, folks just gotta go the cartoon route and downplay the issue!

The cartoon IS dealing with the health issue and topic. Just because you don't like the medium, doesn't change that. And how exactly is this coming 'downplaying' menstruation?

Personally speaking the people who came up with this need a slap upside the head

Why? What exactly harm are they causing? This is content that people are free to purvey or not. And you think they deserve physical violence?

0 ( +14 / -14 )

The cartoon IS dealing with the health issue and topic. Just because you don't like the medium, doesn't change that. And how exactly is this coming 'downplaying' menstruation?

The creators are treating it like they are talking to a bunch of elementary school children not adults!

Why? What exactly harm are they causing? This is content that people are free to purvey or not. And you think they deserve physical violence?

Guess you dont understand this figuratively, and take everything literally huh?

What "harm" are they causing? They are minimizing a health issue and trying to make it "cute".

The slap upside the head is to knock some sense into them and get them to take this seriously and not into a cartoon!

1 ( +13 / -12 )

As is normal in Japan, reduce everything to the level of a three year-old child.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

Japan is obsessed with making characters for everything

14 ( +17 / -3 )

There are still Temples in Japan that have signs at the entrance requesting menstrating women refrain from entering.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I grew up in a house with my mother and three sisters, and I had not a clue they kept it so well hidden. I about had a kitten after I got married and I saw.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The creators are treating it like they are talking to a bunch of elementary school children not adults!

During every US war since WW1, troops were taught the importance of information security, STD prevention, weapon and vehicle maintenance, marksmanship, etc, by... you guessed it, comics featuring “Buxom Betty.”

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Seiri Chan has never been a problem for me...

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I will say that I am sure its difficult for women. They have my sympathy. I do feel fortunate not to have go through that every month.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I grew up in a house with my mother and three sisters, and I had not a clue they kept it so well hidden. I about had a kitten after I got married and I saw.

I have 8 brothers and sisters, 4 sisters, and 2 of them had serious problems when they were having their period, and unfortunately this got passed along to my daughter too.

Believe me, it aint no "cartoon" either. Women physically and mentally change when they have their periods and it's about damn time that corporate Japan accept this and give the women the time they need every month.

Used to work in a company that gave 12 "free days" a year, not vacation time, not sick days, just 12 days a year you could take off with no questions asked. It was to given women time off when they needed it for rest around their periods. (American company, not Japanese!)

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I think this is a very bad idea... making the female period more of a public issue will hurt more than it helps. If this continues "playing the period card", could become a well known phrase. Give women equal pay and equal opportunity, that is more important.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

"Until now, menstruation has been something to hide and many people completely lack correct understanding of it," 

Sounds like a toddler.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The creators are treating it like they are talking to a bunch of elementary school children not adults!

And how are they doing that?

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

many people completely lack correct understanding of it,

You would think this was aimed at middle school students and not adults. In America, boys are aware of women periods since they are young. However, what it is in its entirety doesn't get covered until middle school freshman sex ed class.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

During every US war since WW1, troops were taught the importance of information security, STD prevention, weapon and vehicle maintenance, marksmanship, etc, by... you guessed it, comics featuring “Buxom Betty

There is a reason training manuals in the US military are written at a Grade 8 reading level.

Its a sad commentary on Japanese society that information has to be packaged in anime or manga in order to appeal to the masses. Yubaru is correct that doing this does minimize the substance if the message.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

And how are they doing that?

Manga.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Pathetic that 50% of a society in the third largest economy in the world is shamed for a normal, healthy body function. How is a cartoon needed to end ignorance? Come'on... we can do better. Menstruation is 'NORMAL'. I'm really stunned. On personal note, thank you mom for raising me in San Francisco in th 60's and 70's.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Once again, instead of dealing with a health issue/topic straight forward, folks just gotta go the cartoon route

Nothing wrong with that. It's the way things are done in Japan.

Would you prefer the American route? Humorless and aggressive campaigns portraying women as victims of a patriarchal society, strident demands for recognition, followed by boycotts of companies that don't immediately toe the line. And calling anybody who is slow to come around a bigot? The American version of social change is always antagonistic, divisive, us versus them and requires some recognition of "victims" and "oppressors."

I'll take the cartoons, thanks.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

'Little Miss Period'

Good grief.

> Once again, instead of dealing with a health issue/topic straight forward, folks just gotta go the cartoon route and downplay the issue!

> Personally speaking the people who came up with this need a slap upside the head

Believe me, it aint no "cartoon" either. Women physically and mentally change when they have their periods and it's about damn time that corporate Japan accept this and give the women the time they need every month.

Well said Yubaru.

Its a sad commentary on Japanese society that information has to be packaged in anime or manga in order to appeal to the masses. Yubaru is correct that doing this does minimize the substance if the message.

I'll second that.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Whether you like it or not, here we are all discussing it on a news website. If it was a more sensible campaign, I'm pretty sure that the people it's targeting would not even give it a second thought.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The American version of social change is always antagonistic, divisive, us versus them and requires some recognition of "victims" and "oppressors."

It’s also quite effective. Of course, some people can’t handle adult conversations so need manga/anime to ensure their feelings don’t get hurt.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

If it works and gets the message across, who cares what the medium is?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

It was only a couple of weeks ago that company wanted menstrating women to wear badges at work.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Everything is a cartoon in Japan.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Trying to eat here...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Another childish response to a serious issue.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

That a part of being a woman, a woman monthly cycle ,until she reach menopause

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It was only a couple of weeks ago that company wanted menstrating women to wear badges at work.

It was suggested by a senior female staff member as part of a larger awareness campaign, and the female workers were mostly positive about it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My first reaction is go "pfffft" and to laugh, but hey - if it works in this cultural context, then I am all for it.

You should keep in mind that in Japan people tend to laugh nervously to take away the tension of talking about embarrassing or even traumatic events. Using a cartoon character helps women to feel less ashamed while at the same time bringing the issue to the public view.

I'm sure this is not going to appeal to most non-Japanese women living here, but this isn't about us, is it.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

If it works and gets the message across, who cares what the medium is?

"Don't shoot the messenger" is apparently not common sense anymore.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Seems the kind of approach of an adult trying to make understand a serious issue like this to a 7 years old child.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Stop hiding behind cartoon characters and speak plainly.

The female body and its functions are a part of life.

Asking a boss to give you a break because you are menstruating?

Guys show up with hangovers and get no coddling.

Stay home, or take pain medication.

This is not the way to gain equality, through victimhood.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

"The American version of social change is always antagonistic, divisive, us versus them and requires some recognition of "victims" and "oppressors.""

It’s also quite effective. Of course, some people can’t handle adult conversations so need manga/anime to ensure their feelings don’t get hurt.

A fragmented and violent country where people are angry at each other all the time, can't have adult conversations with blowing up, and elect a loose cannon as president in frustration. Not what I would call effective.

The nice thing about Japan is that people can work together to solve the problems. It may be slower, but it's more effective in the long run. Fragmented societies collapse.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Can someone explain why doing this in manga form is a problem? So many speakers here writing that as if it’s a given. Why are drawings a problem?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I suspect I may be the twentieth male commenter on this, but I defer to girl in tokyo on this matter.

All that matters is whether this has a benefit for women in Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That mascot looks so kimochiwarui. If I was young(er?) just by looking at that mascot I know I really wouldn't want to hear what they're gonna talk about.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To be fair, instead of understanding it for women, they should understand men’s desires such as.....

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"a pink blob with red lips and red pants". 

Excellent.  A blob to represent menses.......

I guess they will also be flying the Japanese flag.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I don't really care if it's cartoon or something else.

What is really important in all of that:

"It doesn't matter if you have your time or not but don't let others to deal with you just because of it. Your job is your job take painkillers if you have to."

Its another example of typical excuse by women. And then they yell for equality etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

strangerland,

Can someone explain why doing this in manga form is a problem? So many speakers here writing that as if it’s a given. Why are drawings a problem?

In the manga series, Little Miss Period - "Seiri-chan" in Japanese - delivers a punch to the gut that lays some women out flat before drawing blood with a syringe. When a woman's husband fails to sympathize, he gets a "period punch" of his own to help him understand.

So a pink blob, with red lips and red pants goin round puchin women and men aaand stealing blood.

The fact that it's a manga isnt the problem.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For thousands of years, billions of females have been having periods, and everybody seems to understand this.

Why does it have to be explained in the 21st century?

Seems that knowledge is going backwards, not forwards.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

anyway wtf is shameful about period? its a normal process in most mammals ... wear a pad or take sick leave if its painful ...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It’s a shame in Japan??

News to me. Ads for sanitary products on tv all the time.

“Women physically and mentally change every month” and need time off???

Usually a man saying that over the past few decades would be shouted down by feminists....

So... do tell. How much do these physical and mental changes affect job performance? And given that it does .. and they even need time off- I can think of some occupations where it would make sense to hire a man over a woman.

Disclaimer - Many women argue that they don’t change, and don’t need time off.

but here we go.

women want equality in the workplace but - everyone has to accept that they’ll change mentally?? And need time off?

interesting.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I’ve had my college students tell me they’ve got their period, with other students looking on, and I’m a man. My wife and daughters have also been very open about it. There are commercials on tv all the time for pads, so I wonder if it really is the taboo this article makes it out to be.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So... do tell. How much do these physical and mental changes affect job performance?

Only said by a man who doesnt have any senses!

Read and learn about PMS!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premenstrual_syndrome

3 ( +4 / -1 )

When a woman's husband fails to sympathize, he gets a "period punch" of his own to help him understand.

Change the name to little miss domestic violence, there is no excuse for punching people no mater the time of the month.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No topic in Japan that is not addressed with a cute cartoon character.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why is menstruation a taboo?

Maybe in some Stone Age religions and cultures.

We are in the 21st century now?

And to state that it has never bothered me and glean down votes....wtf?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Try to imagine this happening in any other country on Earth. I defy you to name one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Try to imagine this happening in any other country on Earth. I defy you to name one.

Hence my overall disgust at this! There is much to love about Japan, but the almost infantile manner in which it deals with serious issues is mind-boggling at times!

"Only in Japan" in instances like this, is not a compliment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

’I've had my college students tell me they’ve got their period, with other students looking on, and I’m a man. My wife and daughters have also been very open about it. There are commercials on tv all the time for pads, so I wonder if it really is the taboo this article makes it out to be.

Same here.

"Only in Japan" in instances like this, is not a compliment.

How do you know if this is "only in Japan." There are 195 recognized countries. How many of them have you surveyed on this issue?

At the very least Korea often has patterns very similar to Japan.

If you take the trouble to do an Internet search on menstruation+cartoon, you will find a fair number of teaching items in English.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This article has sort of freaked me out. I want to buy the Manga. I hope I never get a period punch. At the local Walmart there was an advertisement saying "end period poverty." It's a picture of a girl working out at what looks like a gym. She has nice gym clothes on and maybe a gym membership but cant afford sanitary napkins. On the other hand it sounds like there are women in poor parts of the world that really can't afford them. Also I have heard of "period power" whatever that is.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

OK.... so she's on her period, she just told you. Now... how should you change your behavior towards her? This is what I don't get. We talk about women making us aware of it but not one word on what we should do after.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I was taking attendance before a 3rd year university class I taught. When I asked where one student was, there was a conference among her friends, and finally, one of them asked, "How do you say seiri in English." When I replied, "She's having her period," they carefully repeated it back to me. For the rest of the semester, when one of them was absent, they faithfully reported if it was related to her menstrual cycle.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

before claiming the right of Japan to this menstruation tabu inquire about the similarities in other cultures, be ready for surprise, you are not alone, contrary this dirty women notion is all over the national and religious spectrum. Some even separate the women from man during intercourse because woman is "dirty".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So I've been through both American and Japanese public education, and i realized that japanese public schools do a mediocre job at informing/educating themes such as this. I'm hoping that the fact that such a manga/anime was created is a wake up call to the nations education system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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