Among advertisements made to be distributed, ebira were mainly given out by store owners as a greeting at special times, such as a store opening or the New Year holidays. They were beautifully colored and designed, and many of them included calendars so they could be put on a room or store wall to remain visible for a long time.
Most ebira depicted beautiful women or gods of good fortune like Ebisu and Daikoku, though sometimes they incorporated elements that symbolized Japan’s Westernization, such as Western-style buildings and automobiles.
Ebira were produced using a method called na-ire (“name insertion”). A publisher would first bring a sample print to show the image area of the design and take an order, then later add the name of the store or product in the text area. In this way, the same design could be produced in large quantities to reduce costs, making it possible for small and medium-sized stores all over the country to use ebira.
At the same time, some of them were made by manufacturers to support sales by dealers, like today's posters for medicines and beer.
Such ebira were mainly used during the Meiji and early Showa periods.

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