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Japanese schools, companies working to demystify menstruation

32 Comments
By Haruka Kawai

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Japanese schools, companies working to demystify menstruation

What century is this?

6 ( +14 / -8 )

I will never forget the first time I went out and bought a pack of pads for my wife, who had happened to run out, and asked me to get them while I was shopping.

The looks I got from the woman at the cash register were classic, and I wish I had a camera with me to take the picture. She literally asked me if I knew what I was purchasing, and double checked again, just to make sure.

>

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Next, do a better job at teaching sex education

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Was this in Japan?

I lived (and shopped) in Japan for 15 years and never had a shop assistant ask me anything about what I was buying, let alone ask if I knew what I was buying. :) Shop assistants in Japan never say anything more than what is required, especially to a non-Japanese person. :)

Been here nearly 40 years, and yes this was in Japan, and no I wasnt nervous or anxious either, as it wasnt the first time that I had purchased pads for my wife either, the first time was in the US.

Also this happened about 20 years before you even came to Japan and back in the day, people who worked at registers in local supermarkets actually talked with customers too!

11 ( +15 / -4 )

This reminds me of back to the future.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

LunaLuna, a popular mobile app for women's health management, has a function that enables women to share their menstrual cycles with their partners.

When LunaLuna was launched in 2010, many women were reluctant to share such "personal information," according to MTI Ltd, the app's operator.

But recently, more women have welcomed it as a facilitator of communication. 

Many Japanese women might not be open to the idea, but I have found it very good for communication within my relationship for my partner to use a free app (we use Flo) to track my menstruation and predict my cycle.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don't think there has been any change in how much shop assistants say to customers. :)

Maybe where you are at, but my experiences are vastly different, and not just down here in Okinawa, but where ever I went in Japan as well.

Back in the 80's and from friends of mine who have been here much longer, as in back in the 70's, have often talked about how people, Japanese people that is, were more communicative with customers than in Japan today. People are all in a rush, and dont take time to chat.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Umm, I get the part of educating students but shouldn’t that be part of biology or sex education curriculum? What I don’t get is why companies, staffed by adults, need an education seminar. Is it a lack of female employees in the HR department or just a bunch of middle aged men who have never had a girlfriend or wife And are totally oblivious? It’s great that they’re thinking of women but how about free shaving kits for poverty stricken men? A pack of Gillette razor cartridges and shaving cream is a lot more expensive than pads and tampons! And yes, I’ve picked up pads for my wife more than once and for some reason, for me, that’s a lot less embarrassing than buying condoms!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why do they need to even discuss it?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

working to demystify menstruation

Why?

Is menstruation something that was JUST invented?

What have they been doing for the last 20+ centuries?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

What century is this?

Indeed so. It took them long enough (40 years). I learned this in my junior high school sex ed classes back in the mid 80's. As for my wife asking me to buy sanitary napkins, when in doubt, take a photo of the product on my cell phone and show the store clerk. No problems with that.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why do they need to even discuss it?

Because it is a biological process that has a massive impact on the lives of around half of the population.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Usually one would expect that this topic has been included in the curriculum already for decades and is everywhere taught in a basic version at elementary school and again more detailed at JHS.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'm confused. Why are they "demystifying" a natural bodily process that's ad old as time? I know sex ed in Japanese schools is shoddy and outdated at best but do kids in Japan not study biology in school? Menstruation, its process and effects on the body is simple biology; are kids not being taught this in science class?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

All information on menstruation should be and, could be a part of sex education in all schools in Japan and all countries. Do the education authorities in Japan think that menstruation is too 'delicate' a subject for inclusion?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

dagon wrote: "What century is this?" It's the century in which sanity product makers such as "Unicharm Corp" look to get free advertising vis a vis "articles" in online news. Schools most certainly cover menstruation in health class. Now a segment of our foreign population knows what brand to buy. Unicharm! Oh, and don't forget to download the "LunaLuna" app, Ladies.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

purple_depressed_bacon wrote:  "do kids in Japan not study biology in school? Menstruation, its process and effects on the body is simple biology; are kids not being taught this in science class?" Yes, kids study biology in school and kids are taught about menstruation in health class. You've just been taught what sanitary product to buy...thanks to this "article" brought to you by...Unicharm

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The fact that most store clerks are trained to wrap pads and tampons separately in a brown paper bag speaks to the taboo of menstruation here. Of course it's taught in schools, but we're made to feel ashamed for bleeding and that having a period is something that needs to be kept secret or hidden.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Did something change since my 2 children now mid 20s were in public jr high in Tokyo?

They both (one girl one boy no non binary) had health class and biology where all that was part on the coriculum including tampons, napkins, panty shields, how to calculate the ovulation and period, my daughter even had a booklet to take daily temperature to follow ovulation.

Ok no talk on what brands etc.. but all was covered including the menstrual panties which as a single father was news to me but I did the laundry once informed that was a must purchase.

So did things change was that stopped?

And yes the same course was given to both the boys and girls at the same time.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The fact that most store clerks are trained to wrap pads and tampons separately in a brown paper bag speaks to the taboo of menstruation here.

No it shows a respect for the clients privacy.

Other things they wrap in brown paper bags, condoms and hemorrhoid medicine, among other personal hygiene and medical items.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

purple_depressed_bacon

Today 01:33 pm JST

I'm confused. Why are they "demystifying" a natural bodily process that's ad old as time? I know sex ed in Japanese schools is shoddy and outdated at best but do kids in Japan not study biology in school? Menstruation, its process and effects on the body is simple biology; are kids not being taught this in science class?

Actually sex Ed in Japanese schools isn't "Snoddy" it is called biology and health class and has been around without any problems for decades.

In junior high both my children in public school got taught it all this included how to determine the days in the period, ovulation, taking temperature and noting it down. How to use a condom, how one gets pregnant, etc... tampons, pads, special panties, etc...

Now if Shinagawa Joshi Gakuin Senior High School wasn't doing anything that wouldn't surprise me, an all girls private jr/Sr high isn't the place that is going to be very progressive, sort of like an all girls private Catholic school in a western country.

Like Geeter Mckluskie

Today 04:37 pm JST

Wrote this looks more like a free add for unicharm and Luna Luna app.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Demystifying menstruation is the job of parents. Or sex ed classes in junior high school. That's the way it was back in the '60s, here in Canada. And the classes were co-ed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

TrevorPeace

Today 07:24 pm JST

Demystifying menstruation is the job of parents. Or sex ed classes in junior high school. That's the way it was back in the '60s, here in Canada. And the classes were co-ed.

Never heard of sex ed in my day in Canada/Quebec, we just got human biology which as one would expect included all bodily functions including reproduction, birth control, menstruation, etc ... So that way even the church couldn't stop it and I am old.

My children in Japan now mid 20s got the same in biology and health class in Japanese public school.

This included menstrual cycle temperature ovulation and both the girl and boy had the same classes

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Unfortunately a few years back I had a young teenage student who probably hadn’t been educated about periods. During class, she started looking at me in an unusual way and I was wondering if she was feeling okay or not, next minute I heard some loud dripping, which turned out to be pee mixed with her period. The poor girl was so nervous when she felt her period coming on, she peed herself.

fortunately that day, the 3 other students in the class were absent which saved her from a big embarrassment although she was super embarrassed as it was.

Hear hear to improving education on this topic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can we also start talking about Menopause too please ?

Kids often know about Periods, and Sex, before Parents start talking to them.... just like how they know to use a Smart-phone better than them!!!

However.... Menopause and the change in Mental stability that goes along with it, is something that is not often discussed, and should be understood by all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can we also start talking about Menopause too please ?

Kids often know about Periods, and Sex, before Parents start talking to them.... just like how they know to use a Smart-phone better than them!!!

However.... Menopause and the change in Mental stability that goes along with it, is something that is not often discussed, and should be understood by all.

You actually want Japanese education in ES,JHS and HS to discuss menopause?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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