Japanese advertising history
－Advertising is a window into society and people－
From the mid to late Edo period, popular culture was in full bloom. This was the time in which the roots of advertising could be found in the different approaches taken to ensure business prosperity.
The westernization of Japan saw rapid development in printing technology as well as the media. The appearance of newspapers and magazines saw these publications take center stage among the advertising media. In turn, this brought about the advent of ad- vertising agencies, signaling the start of the history of modern advertising which continues to this day.
Strong economic growth in Japan en- couraged rapid urbanization and the emergence of a mass-consumption society. With the spread of Taisho modernism came several timeless advertisements that we recognize today. Expressive techniques took advantage of new technologies as star ad creators gained prominence. Although it was a short length of time, advertising gained significant momentum during the Taisho period.
Continuing from the Taisho period, the early Showa period was referred to as “Showa Modern.” Advertising expression became more international and polished. However, this drastically changed with the approach of war. Japanese advertising entered its “time of winter” as advertisements for regular products were swiftly re- placed by promotions designed to boost national morale.