Chinese menstrual belt and
A Chinese woman sent me the following
e-mail that changes the impression the
male (below the next top e-mail) gave of
Chinese menstrual practices.
with a correction in 2011
it is rare for women to use belt pad
instead of stick-in pad, as
it is rare for Asian women to use
tampons. I guess the items the man
were vintage. When you
go to a supermarket in China, you'll
be amazed for the variety of pads, but
there are always no tampons on the
Western brands like Whisper and Kotex
are very popular in China.
I am a Chinese living in Hong Kong.
actually wrote about the belts and pads here.
much prefer pads over tampons.
An male e-mailer from China kindly
sent (November 2000) unsolicited
this photo to the museum, saying it
showed menstrual pad belts
- I assume the rectangular
blue-and-white strips attached
to the narrow waistbands -
probably the slightly
wider rounded-end object at
the right in the middle. I've
asked the e-mailer for more
including if the pad is washable or
It looks like the Japanese uma,
or "horse," a homemade pad and belt
used by the Japanese for hundreds
of years. I suspect the Chinese have
used something similar for centuries.
China influenced Japan in many ways -
Buddhism arrived from China, and the
Japanese language uses kanji, Chinese
characters used with Japanese grammar
and pronunciation, something that
makes Japanese perhaps the most
major language to learn - and maybe
China gave Japan this kind of belt and
pad, although there really aren't many
different ways to make a menstrual
- and better photographed - Chinese
belts and pads, from 2000 and 2005.
The two belts
are the rectangular
attached to the string-like bands,
probably the waist bands.
The two white and basically vertical
bands in the blue area of the pads
might be a band to hold the pad in
is the wider,
almost completely white object with
the rounded end, part of which you
at the right side of the picture.
© 2000 Harry Finley. It is
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