If you've ever been in Japan during political campaign season, particularly for regional elections, you've likely seen the standard campaign posters set up by candidates around their respective area. The layout of each poster is almost always identical--a large image of the candidate's smiling face, their party name, and their campaign slogan.

Kana Shindou, who is currently campaigning for a seat in the assembly of Tokyo's Kita Ward as part of the Horiemon New Party, has a poster that definitely stands out from your the typical Japanese politician poster. It features her modeling the cloth face masks provided to households by the Japanese government as a novel coronavirus measure (commonly referred to as "Abe Masks" after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe) as a bra.

Along with the slogan "smash coronavirus restrictions!", the poster shows Shindou posing with the "Abe masks" as a self-made bra and laughingly calling it the "Abe mask bra."

In a short interview below, Shindou explains her reasoning for the poster as a criticism of the Abe government's response to the coronavirus, saying "The poster is a bit over the top, but it isn't just for me to be seen or known. Behind that I'm saying "as a countermeasure against the coronavirus, to be frank, is it OK to use so much money and only give out these two masks?" It's a satirical criticism of the response to the coronavirus...that's the number one point."

The poster has certainly been effective in grabbing attention. Some online have criticized the poster as being demeaning to women, but Shindou dismisses the claim saying she's doing it of her own volition. She had this to say in response to saying the poster was "belittling women": "Excuse me, are you saying a woman doing what she wants as a woman is demeaning to women?", she says in response to criticism.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.