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Ichimon Japan: A Podcast by Japankyo.com


May 26, 2020

On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: Can sexy things give you anime style nosebleeds?

Topics Discussed

  • Whether getting sexually aroused causes nosebleeds
  • What it would be like if people in the real world had explosive nosebleeds like in anime
  • The idea that eating large amounts of chocolate causes nosebleeds
  • The idea that eating large amounts of peanuts causes nosebleeds
  • Theories on how it was that people in Japan started to say that chocolate can cause nosebleeds
  • The idea that Japanese people in the Meiji period thought milk chocolate had cow's blood in it
  • Why Japanese parents may have told chiclren that consuming too much chocolate causes nosebleeds
  • The case of a Japanese person who was told eating too many raisins cause nosebleeds
  • The possible origin of the nosebleed trope in anime/manga
  • The manga creator Yasuji Tanioka
  • What the heck hanajibū (鼻血ブー) means
  • Yasuji Tanioka's 1970 hit gyagu (gag/comedic) manga "Tanioka Yasuji no Mettametta Gakidō Kōza" (谷岡ヤスジのメッタメタガキ道講座) and its connection to nosebleeds
  • Yasuji Tanioka's 1971 animated film "Yasuji no Porunorama Yacchimae!!" (ヤスジのポルノラマ やっちまえ!!)
  • A totally ridiculous message board post claiming that men in feaudal Japan would demonstrate interest in a woman by somehow (mentally?) forcing blood to come out their nose
  • The possible connection between ginkgo nuts/seeds and nosebleeds
  • The adverse health effects of ginkgotoxin
  • What many in Japan say is the maximum number of ginkgo nuts one should eat
  • A theory that ties the nosebleeds of anime all the way back to ancient China and the ginkgo nut
  • What the proper way to stop a nosebleed is
  • Tony's Unified Nosebleed Theory (TUNT)
  • And more!

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Sources, Links, Videos, Etc.

Here is a list of the main English-language sources used for this episode. Some extra details were included when necessary.

  • Bloodbath: Why Do So Many Anime Characters Have Nosebleeds When They’re Aroused?
  • Yasuji Tanioka
  • From where did the anime cliche of a sexually aroused person bleeding from their nose originate? What is its significance?
  • Anime Physics: Nosebleeds
  • Origins of the nose-bleed in anime/manga
    • The page above is where the quote about nosebleeds possibly tying back to feudal Japan when men used to mentally force blood to come out their noses in order to signal to a woman that they were attracted to them. That post was written by someone using the name Kess Vargavind and has been quoted in its entirety below. The post was dated October 27, 2013.
      • "I have no idea when, or by whom, the nosebleeding started to depicted in Japanese visual arts, but the nosebleeding as a sign of excitement is traditionally held to have developed during the feudal times when men and women (of the upper classes) were supposed to live their lives apart—but of course they needed some way to woo each other! And so, the men, while walking on the other side of the street mentally forced their noses to bleed when they saw someone “hot” being walked along, and the courting could begin on opposite sides of drawn curtains. Some consider this an accurate history while others consider it a myth, probably the truth lies somewhere in between, as usual.

        If this is true, then this form of specialised nosebleed might have been depicted in art for quite awhile. But of that I have no knowledge.

        An interesting thing, I just realised, is that if this is the true history of the sexually ritualistic nosebleed, then

        (a) women had no need to develop such “skills”, and

        (b) homosexual men also had no such need.

        Thus much of the anime and manga today—especially in the boys’ love scene—are not true to the real history! :P (Male homosexual acts were in these times—again, in the upper classes—something considered pure and good, as females were “worth” less and not something you might not have easy “access” to when you felt certain urges.)"

  • Nosebleeds: Causes and Treatments
    • The article above states "Some herbs that affect blood clotting, including ginseng, ginkgo, and garlic, may also play a role in nosebleeds."
  • Spontaneous Bleeding Associated with Ginkgo biloba
    • The study above is interesting in that it analyzes previous studies and does not dismiss the link between ginkgo and bleeding. It calls for further research.
  • Ginkgotoxin (Wikipedia)

Here is a selection of the main articles used as reference for this episode. All titles are provided in Japanese. Additional notes are provided for particularly notable articles.

Here is the Tokyo Podcast episode mentioned during the commercial break.

Here is the Japan Station episode mentioned during the commercial break.

Japanese Vocabulary List

Most episodes feature at least one or two interesting Japanese words or phrases. Here’s some of the ones that came up on this episode. All information is from Jim Breen's WWWJDIC.

  •  
  • Hanaji
    • 鼻血 【はなぢ(P); はなじ(ik)】 (n) nosebleed
  • Ginnan
    • 銀杏 【ぎんなん; ギンナン】 ; (n) (See 銀杏・いちょう) ginkgo nut; gingko nut
    • 男前 【おとこまえ(P); オトコマエ】 (n) handsome man; man's looks; good looks
  • Ushi
    • 牛 【うし(P); ぎゅう; ウシ】 (n) (1) cattle (Bos taurus); cow; bull; ox; calf
  • Chichi
    • 乳 【ちち(P); ち】 (n) (1) milk; (2) breast

We Want Your Questions

Is there something about Japan that confuses you? Is there something about Japanese culture that you would like to learn more about? Is there something in Japanese history that you would like us to explain? We're always looking for new questions about Japan to answer, so if you have one, please send it to ichimon@japankyo.com.

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing Theme: Produced by Apol (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Fiverr)

Ichimon Japan cover art: Produced by Erik R.

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Full Show Notes