Box and actual
tampon - ad
for an Elldy with applicator (October 1996)
Early Japanese tampon (1977): Shampon
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
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).
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
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"
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
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
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
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.
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 www.engrish.com.
(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
writer later added:]
a regular Jane Schmoe that happened
to grow up in Japan.
a GREAT museum!
This example is from 1992.
Sheet of finger
cots in box
enlargment showing how to use the
Front side of
instructions, obviously reduced in
actual tampon - ad for an
Elldy with applicator (October
1996) - Early Japanese tampon
© 2001 Harry Finley. It is
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