Box and actual tampon - ad for an Elldy with applicator (October 1996)
Early Japanese tampon (1977): Shampon Young
A Japanese university student generously sent me the ad, along with others, some very old, which were part of a paper she wrote about the history of the Japanese menstrual products industry.
Ads for the Kotex stick tampon (U.S.A., 1970s) - a Japanese stick tampon from the 1970s.
Early commercial tampons - Rely tampon - Meds tampon (Modess)
And, of course, the first Tampax AND - special for you! - the American fax tampon, from the early 1930s.
See a Modess True or False? ad in The American Girl magazine, January 1947, and actress Carol Lynley in "How Shall I Tell My Daughter" booklet ad (1955) - Modess . . . . because ads (many dates).
DIRECTORY of all topics (See also the SEARCH ENGINE, bottom of page.)
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
homepage | LIST OF ALL TOPICS | MUM address & What does MUM mean? | e-mail the museum | privacy on this site | who runs this museum?? |
Amazing women! | the art of menstruation | artists (non-menstrual) | asbestos | belts | bidets | founder bio | Bly, Nellie | MUM board | books: menstruation and menopause (and reviews) | cats | company booklets for girls (mostly) directory | contraception and religion | costumes | menstrual cups | cup usage | dispensers | douches, pain, sprays | essay directory | extraction | facts-of-life booklets for girls | famous women in menstrual hygiene ads | FAQ | founder/director biography | gynecological topics by Dr. Soucasaux | humor | huts | links | masturbation | media coverage of MUM | menarche booklets for girls and parents | miscellaneous | museum future | Norwegian menstruation exhibit | odor | olor | pad directory | patent medicine | poetry directory | products, current | puberty booklets for girls and parents | religion | Religión y menstruación | your remedies for menstrual discomfort | menstrual products safety | science | Seguridad de productos para la menstruación | shame | slapping, menstrual | sponges | synchrony | tampon directory | early tampons | teen ads directory | tour of the former museum (video) | underpants & panties directory | videos, films directory | Words and expressions about menstruation | Would you stop menstruating if you could? | What did women do about menstruation in the past? | washable pads
Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.

Japanese menstrual tampon with finger cots (Elldy tampons), 1990s

Below is a sheet of 10 finger cots, protective coverings for the index finger; the sheet comes in the box containing the Elldy tampon from Japan. The cots prevent the finger's having any contact with the vagina and its contents when inserting the tampon (see instructions below).

The instructions, the second and third items below, are different sizes to show the more important side more clearly. I have enlarged the drawing showing the way the cot is put on. It seems like a good idea, probably more ecologically effective than using a "plunger" applicator.

Note the English "Let's enjoy tampon life," startling words I doubt a native English speaker would utter. How many Japanese would understand it?

And look at the "Q" and "A" in the question section. The letters must be familiar enough for women to understand it. It could be that Japanese women who use tampons are more sophisticated, and more likely to understand English, as Japanese in general much prefer pads (as do Asians in general and Hispanics), probably for the sake of cleanliness.

But a woman who grew up in Japan e-mailed this explanation (January 2001):


You had two questions on your Web site about Japanese tampon companies using English.

The first one (why are the instructions for opening the packet in English?) is pretty simple. English is a decorative language in Japan, much in the same way that you'll see random Chinese characters (usually misprinted or completely out of context) on clothes and hats in the US just because it looks cool. Except that in Japan they've been using English as a decorative language for years and years and years now. With something as simple as "open" you really can't go wrong, but for some really funny examples of "Engrish" I recommend you going to (A good example of "Engrish" on your museum's Web site would be the Elddy tampon instructions that say "Let's enjoy tampon life!")

As for the girl saying "ummm," that's also pretty simple. That's just the ad using roman characters to spell out Japanese onomatopoeia (Roma-ji). She's just sighing comfortably.

[The writer later added:]

I'm just a regular Jane Schmoe that happened to grow up in Japan.

You have a GREAT museum!

This example is from 1992.

See the box and actual tampon.

Long download time!


Sheet of finger cots in box

Instructions, with enlargment showing how to use the cot 


Front side of instructions, obviously reduced in size
Box and actual tampon - ad for an Elldy with applicator (October 1996) - Early Japanese tampon (1977): Shampon Young

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