The "Poorest of the Poor" from Tamarahco Hen Productions on Vimeo.

According to the presenter, Japan comes in second place among OECD member countries in terms of relative poverty, and like everywhere else in the world, it is the women here who are the "poorest of the poor." Watch to find out more.

EXPLANATION OF 'RELATIVE POVERTY': The USA and Japan hold the leading positions among the world’s most industrially developed countries in terms of relative poverty. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the percentage of US families whose profit is lower than the average income makes up 13.7. The number of such families in Japan reaches 13.5 percent. A report from the organization says that the USA and Japan cannot guarantee sufficient income to all citizens despite a high level of economic development. The two countries take the first and the second place respectively on the level of relative poverty. The notion of ‘relative poverty’ defines a part of population receiving less than 50 percent of the average income in a country.

Single Mothers Lead Japan's Poor Population (3 min.)

Women's Poverty Often an Overlooked Issue in Japan
Japan Tries to Face Up to Growing Poverty Problem (NYT)

Key words/phrases: Joni Seager, relative poverty, Africa, India, Japan, USA, single female-headed household, gender pay gap, childcare, discrimination, OECD, single mother

For Micha from Tamarahco Hen Productions on Vimeo.

"It's not true that life is one damn thing after another; it is one damn thing over and over." ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

Hair Dye: Poison from Tamarahco Hen Productions on Vimeo.

Below is a response by a first-year student to her second-year sempai's presentation, turned into an exercise by Teacher-Tamarah: DANGEROUS FASHION By Kana [family name withheld upon request], July 18, 2001

Have you ever experienced dyeing or perming your hair? The sophomore presentation “Hair Dye” showed that hair dye is related to diseases such as bladder cancer. My hair is not only dyed but also permed now, so I am wondering how dangerous a perm is. I’ll introduce some eye-opening facts I found (1.) on/by/through my own. First of all, the process of a perm is roughly two steps; breaking and reforming cells in the hair. The perm solution includes terrible chemicals, which are similar to chemicals in weed-killer and defoliant, to destroy the inside of the hair. They are one-eight hundredth as poisonous as a weed-killer and six times as toxic as a pesticide. Compared to the hair dye which is one-three thousandth as poisonous as a weed-killer, the perm solution is by far (2.) less/more dangerous. Undoubtedly, it has serious effects on the human body. Have you ever heard of the Vietnam War? During that time, a lot of defoliants were used as a weapon. They seriously affected unborn children in woman’s bodies, and the number of the children born with deformed body parts grew rapidly after the war. The horrible thing is that the perm solution has similar chemicals to these, defoliants. However, a lot of people use it in (3.) daily/dairy life. As the presenter said, nothing is more terrible than (4.) ignorance/ignorant. Although the effects of a perm are more serious than people think, most people remain unaware. If this goes on, you, your future children and/or your precious person may be a victim. We need to actively collect every types of information. We can (5.) a_ _ _ _ tragedy with a change in thinking.

Key words/phrases: Para-phenylenediamine (PPD), Henna, Bladder Cancer Cafe, carcinogen, PPD-induced anaphylactic shock, cancer, atopic dermatitis, allergy

"Children's" Day‏ from Tamarahco Hen Productions on Vimeo.

Who and what are being celebrated on 'Kodomo No Hi' (Children's Day), and by whom? These are the questions this slideshow is designed to provoke. Several viewers have commented that they didn't know carp is a male symbol. From Wikipedia (and easy to verify elsewhere): Before this day, families raise the carp-shaped koinobori flags (carp because of the Chinese legend that a carp that swims upstream becomes a dragon, and the way the flags blow in the wind looks like they are swimming), one for each boy (or child), display a Kintarō doll usually riding on a large carp, and the traditional Japanese military helmet, kabuto. Kintarō and the kabuto are symbols of a strong and healthy boy.

"Each boy (or child)"? See "Women and People"
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

The NHK program, “Trad Japan,” says that it’s cold in northern areas in March, so Girl’s day is not a national holiday. Boy’s day is a national holiday, but Girl’s day is not one because of the weather? This is “gender segregation”. At first, I did not care about this, because Boy’s day is called Children’s day, and therefore it includes girls. However, I reckon that it is just the name, and it actually focuses on boys and celebrates mainly them. I think Japanese government should make Girl’s day a national holiday, and then it makes sense in terms of “equality” between girls and boys.
Miura Yuka (female, Kansai Gaidai University)

The Japanese government renamed tango no sekku to Children's Day for "gender equality". However, they just integrated girls into the boys' celebration, such as having them wear armor and helmets. It is clear that the contents of Children's Day is still for only boys.

Oka Yuki (male, Kansai Gaidai University)

According to the text, Kodomono-hi is defined legally as a day to "respect children's right" but this definition was decided after WWII. Before then it was called Tango no Sekku. This holiday displays Koinobori and Samurai, and celebrates boy's success and health.

As the video says, Kodomono-hi is a day for boys and it is an official holiday, however Hinamatsuri is a day for girls and it isn't an official holiday. The video asks why, because the difference is weird.

Fujita Rika (Female, Doshisha Women's College)

Who and what are being celebrated on “Children’s Day”? According to the text, “Children’s Day” is a national holiday and it is a day to respect child rights and, to work toward their happiness. Before the end of WWⅡ, May 5th was celebrated as a day, Tango no sekku, to wish for the health and future of boys. Children’s Day is not only for boys but also girls. But in fact, the holiday is celebrated with koinobori, yoroikabuto, samuraidolls, all are associated with boys.

We also have a day to celebrate girls called Hinamatsuri on March 3rd, but March 3rd is a non-holiday. If Girl’s day were a holiday, Boy’s Day relegated to a private ritual, boys and men would get angry, according to the sideshow.

In conclusion, “Boy’s Day” was changed to “Children’s Day after the war, but it is still a custom which celebrates boys. We should discuss about the unfairness.

Morino Sakiko (Female, Doshisha Women's College)

There are many holidays in Japan. One of the holidays is “Children’s Day” on May 5th. “Children’s Day” is based on Tango no Sekku, and difined legally as the day “to respect children’s right, to work toward their happiness.” The day is mostly for boys. Children display kabuto, warrior dolls and fly koinobori with parents or relatives. They are symbols of “Children’s Day”. The meaning of the kabuto and warrior dolls display is a way for parents to wish for their sons to grow healthily. They wish for their health, to be more powerful and future success.

In Japan, there is also a day for girls, called “Girl’s Festival”. “Girl’s Festival” is on March 3rd. On that day, girls drink amazake, and display hina dolls with parents or relatives before March 3rd.

There are some parallels between “Children’s Day” and “Girl’s Festival”. But the difference between them is holiday and not holiday. Why isn’t “Girl’s Festival” a holiday? Maybe, it’s because, in Japan, man’s position is higher than woman’s. Such idea remains in Japan firmly today. If “Girl’s Festival” were defined as a holiday instead of “Children’s Day”, what would happen in Japan? What kinds of influence would it have? It’s time to think about it.

Yoshizuka Arisa (Female, Doshisha Women's College)

Counterattacks of the "Products" from Tamarahco Hen Productions on Vimeo.

The presenter argues that advertising may actually be bringing visibility to "Gay-Lesbian people." Watch and see if you agree.

Key words and phrases: Jean Kilbourne, Can't Buy My Love, advertising, Lesbian, Gay, female invisibility, erasure, Absolut Vodka, Sasagawa Yohei, Nippon Foundation


Marketing to Men (Ms Mag):

Banana Leaves from Tamarahco Hen Productions on Vimeo.

Carol Adams:

"Behind every meal of meat is an absence: the death of the animal whose place the meat takes. The "absent referent" is that which separates the meat eater from the animal and the animal from the end product. The function of the absent referent is to keep our "meat" separated from any idea that she or he was once an animal, to keep the "moo" or "cluck" or "baa" away from the meat, to keep something from being seen as having been someone."

Adams, Carol J. The Sexual Politics of Meat. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2000 (first pub. 1990), p. 14.

Tobacco Politics in Japan (TOEFL iBT Prep Exercise) from Tamarahco Hen Productions on Vimeo.

Smoking is against the law for people under 20, but it is easy to skirt this law. Watch to find out how -- and why.

For more information, see:

Second-Hand Smoke Battle Moves into the Home (NPR, 6:29 min.)

Smoking in Japan -- Facts and Details:

Graphic Cigarette Labels

Animal Testing from Tamarahco Hen Productions on Vimeo.

About using non-animal-tested cosmetics in Japan. For more information, go to:


and two related spoofs:

And do NOT buy Body Shop!