Red Cross in Hiroshima offers blood donors a limited edition poster

By Philip Kendall

In an effort to raise awareness and attract younger donors, the Japanese Red Cross has been giving anime and manga fans in Hiroshima Prefecture the chance to get their hands on a limited edition poster in exchange for a single blood donation.

Unlike in some Western countries, Japanese donors do not ordinarily receive any form of compensation in exchange for giving blood. As we’ve seen before, though, it’s not unknown for groups to offer small incentives to step inside and take one for the team.

Hoping to appeal to anime and manga fans who were attending the AniPrim event at a nearby convention center last week, the Japanese Red Cross displayed signs outside its Hijiyama Honmachi center asking for donations in return for a special present.

With a hand-written message taped to one of the stylish posters, the sign reads: “Donors of 400mL of blood will receive this poster as a gift.” (A typical donation is usually between 200 and 550 mL.)

The poster itself was designed by a genuine manga artist and features a cute girl (of course!) holding a blood donor’s card. It may seem like a cheap ploy to some, but when it comes to manga and animation fans, it’s important not to underestimate the incredible power a few moe designs can have.

The number of donations from people aged 18-30 in the prefecture is reported to have fallen by 40% in the last 10 years, so let’s hope that incentives of a similar nature continue to crop up around the country and address what could one day be a very serious problem.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News

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I'd be more than happy to donate my blood but being a foreigner here, it seems the Red Cross thinks I have bad blood.

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being a foreigner here, it seems the Red Cross thinks I have bad blood

Nothing to do with you being a foreigner, everything to do with maybe you ate BSE-infected meat at some point or have some other as yet undetected lurgy. Japanese who spent more than a month in the UK anytime 1980-1996, or more than 6 months in a bunch of other countries 1980~, are also asked not to give blood. Also anyone who has returned from overseas within the last 4 weeks, or has had piercings or tattoos in the last 6 months are asked to come back later when it's clear they haven't caught anything.

Before BSE reared its ugly head I used to give blood regularly and was even featured on local TV urging people to give blood. Being foreign as such as nothing to do with it.

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being a foreigner here, it seems the Red Cross thinks I have bad blood.

Maybe you do. They have never had any problems with my foreign blood. Unless you are disqualified for reasons that also apply to Japanese, they will take your blood. They also have to be sure that you understand the criteria, so not being able to answer the questionnaire will disqualify you.

Hiroshima is a bit far (for me) to go for a poster, though...

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I gave blood at the Red Cross in Shinjuku many years ago no worries at all. I even got a free Haagen Dazs ice cream from the cute nurse too!

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