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A Japanese Store Thought Period Badges for Their Female Staff Were a Good Idea

The badges depict Seiri-Chan, a popular manga character that personifies a woman’s period.
tampons period

Women have to deal with a lot during their monthly period. This can be something as simple as uncontrollable food cravings, to more serious problems like paralysing cramps. Knowing this, a department store in Japan implemented a regulation in October that was meant to help staff members on their period. But now, they are in hot water for it.

Department store Daimaru’s branch in Osaka Umeda has come under fire for encouraging female staff members to wear a badge when they have their period, Reuters reported. The badge features Seiri-Chan, a popular Japanese manga character that is an anthropomorphic depiction of a woman’s period. Her name is literally “Miss Period.”


A spokesperson said that the badges were meant to foster sympathy for menstruating employees, by encouraging longer breaks and assistance for some tasks. However, many critics thought the badges were “creepy” and “crazy."

An unnamed executive from Daimaru said they would “rethink” their policy” following the backlash.

“We received many complaints from the public. Some of them concerned harassment, and that was definitely not our intention. We’re reconsidering plans now,” the executive said.

The intention of the badge was to "improve the working environment" for staff, Daimaru spokesperson Yoko Higuchi who told the BBC.

"It was never the intention to share the menstrual information with their customers," she said.

The badges were a suggestion from the department store’s staff. Wearing the badge is not mandatory and is only worn if one of the 500 staff members in the wardrobe section needs help from coworkers.

"If you saw a colleague was having her period, you could offer to carry heavy things for her, or suggest she takes longer breaks, and this support would be mutual,” Higuchi said.

While Japan is one of the only countries in the world to offer sick leaves for women during their periods, most people still hold conservative views about menstruation.

Unicharm, one of the biggest hygiene manufacturers in Japan, launched a campaign in June that aims to destigmatise periods and educate the masses about menstruation. To put an end to period-shaming, the campaign gathered social media influencers from all over the country to talk about menstruation. Part of the campaign was #NoBagForMe, a movement that encourages women to refuse opaque bags and instead carry their feminine hygiene products in transparent ones, or with no bag at all.

"We want to create a society in which women can make a choice so that people who want to hide feminine hygiene products can do so, while those who don't, have an option," a PR executive from Unicharm told The Mainichi.

Cover photo by Josefin on Unsplash