"Sanitary Bloomers," 1922 (ad from Sears, Roebuck catalog, U.S.A.) - various underpants, 1928 (page from Sears, Roebuck catalog) - step-in, Hickory, 1928 (ad from Vanity Fair magazine, U.S.A.) - first Sears everyday underpants (nonmenstrual), 1935 (ad from Sears, Roebuck catalog) - various underpants (and belts), 1946-47 (page from Sears, Roebuck catalog) - various underpants, 1960s (part of Personal Digest, Modess, U.S.A.)
See a prototype of the first Kotex ad.
See more Kotex items: Ad 1928 (Sears and Roebuck catalog) - Marjorie May's Twelfth Birthday (booklet for girls, 1928, Australian edition; there are many links here to Kotex items) - 1920s booklet in Spanish showing disposal method - box from about 1969 - Preparing for Womanhood (1920s, booklet for girls) - "Are you in the know?" ads (Kotex) (1949)(1953)(1964)(booklet, 1956) - See more ads on the Ads for Teenagers main page
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)
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.

Early Japanese ads for menstrual underpants

In 1998 a Japanese college student, Tomoko Maeno, kindly sent a copy of her study of the history of Japanese menstrual articles to this museum. Below I reproduce three ads (in "Maiden's Sexuality") from the early 20th century from her thesis.

I commissioned Mrs. Akiko Roller to translate some of the text and to interpret some of the pictures.

American prudery would never permit such illustrations as these: bare-breasted ladies loitering in their menstrual underpants or naked, pushing menstrual gear! I believe these date from the early 20th century.

Japanese men traditionally have worn an even briefer brief as we see in these wood-block prints from the 19th century.

The first evidence I have for American menstrual underpants is a Sears ad for sanitary bloomers, from 1922.

See early 20th-century Japanese ads for menstrual belts and homemade washable pads and compare these with Japanese men's "underpants."




The rabbit is a symbol of the full moon in an old Japanese folk tale; it holds a wooden pounder for making rice cake.
The ad says,"Just as on a full-moon night you still need a paper lantern to be safe, at your monthly/moon time you need (our patented) safety sanitary belt."
 Like these underpants, the American She Shells bikini underpants from the 1970s (I believe) had clasps on either side, in the She Shells case so the wearer could remove them without taking her pants or pantyhose off.

"Sanitary Bloomers," 1922 (ad from Sears, Roebuck catalog, U.S.A.) - various underpants, 1928 (page from Sears, Roebuck catalog)

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