Japanese tampon with finger cots - ad for Elldy tampon with applicator (October 1996) - Kotex stick tampon (U.S.A.) - ad for the Kotex stick tampon (1970s)
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Shampon Young stick menstrual tampon (Japan, 1977)

About the time this stick tampon appeared, Kotex sold a stick (ad from the 1970s) tampon in America, although the stick came already attached. I believe Kotex sold it to satisfy women who objected on ecological and other grounds to the cardboard and plastic applicators of other tampons. I do not know which tampon appeared first. It's probable that the differences between the two are to avoid patent conflicts, at least in part.

The fastidiousness of the Japanese, which might explain the extensive packaging (see the photos), shows in the finger cots a manufacturer packed with the tampons in a later product.

One side of the box bears an English-language version of the other, something that occurs with other Japanese menstrual products. Tampons probably came late to Japan, and I believe from America, which may partly explain this. But read some comments about the Elldy tampon.

In 1997 Tambrands gave the box to this museum as part of an amazing gift of 450 boxes of tampons dating to the founding of the Tampax company, 1936, plus hundreds of other items.


The absorbing part of the tampon seems to be wrapped in a cellophane-like material. I don't know if the user was supposed to remove it before inserting; that would make the process even more irritating and noisy, something many women want to avoid. Some Japanese women's toilets have noise-generating machines to conceal these - and other - tell-tale sounds. And I thought only Americans would be concerned about that.
Someone at Tambrands stuck the annotations onto the package, except for the price label (315 yen). Tambrands, probably like most companies, constantly examines its competitors' products. This was one such example, one of hundreds the company generously gave this museum.
The user took a stick from the cellophane pack in the box and stuck it into the tampon. (See instructions, below).
The tampons came encased in foil, like pills.
My impression is that the Japanese are very concerned about personal cleanliness, maybe more so than any other large nation, which might explain this wrapping. 
Note the douche syringe towards the bottom of the second page, right above (compare with an American syringe). I don't know if douching was as popular in Japan as it was in America. Read more about douching.
Japanese tampon with finger cots - ad for Elldy tampon with applicator (October 1996) - Kotex stick tampon (U.S.A.) -
ad for the Kotex stick tampon (1970s)

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