Unless you live under an anime rock, you have seen a character in an anime get a nosebleed after something perceived as sexual happens (eg: wind blows up a skirt or even an ice skating routine).
But why does this happen? It is based so far out of reality but is incredibly common in anime, and I want to uncover why.
The supposed first instance of this old wives’ tale came from the mind of Tanioka Yasuji in the early 1970’s. Yasuji was a rather prominent manga artist, known mostly for his crude comics (though, being the person who created the idea that being aroused caused nosebleeds, what were you expecting?). Yasuji’s work was so popular in Japan that “Hanaji-bu”, literally meaning nosebleed (hanaji) and the sound of blood spurting from the nose (bu), became a popular saying.
The first known instance of the “nosebleed” is in a manga from 1970 called “Yasuji no Mettametagaki Dōkōza” (Or one of the seven other spellings I found for it online). The manga itself was actually adapted into a film a year later in 1971, written by none other than Yasuji himself.
Did I mention the main character was like, 12?! Well, he totally is. Mostly because “Yasuji no Mettametagaki Dōkōza” is about a boy going through puberty. The movie is 84 minutes of pure insanity… And if you can manage to find it, I 1000% do not recommend anyone under 18 viewing.
Sadly, Yasuji passed away in 1999 at 57 years old. Luckily for us, his legacy lives on.