Japanese store ‘rethinks’ badges that identified staff on periods

  29 November 2019    Read: 730
Japanese store ‘rethinks’ badges that identified staff on periods

A department store in Japan is reconsidering a policy for employees on their period to wear badges featuring a manga character after complaints from the general public.

Management at the Daimaru Umeda store in Osaka said the policy was originally intended to encourage empathy among co-workers.

The character on the badge, Seiri-chan, is from a popular comic by Ken Koyama in his series ‘Little Miss P’. She is also known as Miss Period.

The idea was for employees on their periods to wear the badges so their co-workers could recognise when they might need extra help or need to take a break.

According to the BBC, store management never intended to “share the menstrual information” with customers. It is unclear how customers would not have seen the badges. 

The badge policy is not compulsory, and was reportedly suggested by the employees themselves when a new ‘Women’s Wellbeing’ section was opened in the store.

An unnamed executive at the store told local media: “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 store announced the policy earlier this week, and was "excited" for the new women-focused section to be an "asset to the marketplace".

Products sold in the section include menstrual cups, lingerie, traditional Chinese medicine, cosmetics, and skincare.

In the comics, Miss Period is a large heart-shaped pink mascot with large red lips that appears in women’s lives once a month and gets up to antics with other characters including Mr Libido, Mr Virginity, and Little Miss PMS.

Miss Period starred in her own live-action comedy that was released in November, directed by Shunsuka Shinada.

She has been lauded by manga fans as an entertaining and honest portrayal of the relationship women have with their periods.

Conversations about menstruation and sex are largely taboo in Japan, but social media and popular characters like Miss Period are helping women talk more openly about it.


The Independent

More about: Japan