Japanese Advertising History
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.
Taisho modernism gives
rise to star advertising creators
The introduction of new Western photographic and printing technologies helped promote more sophisticated advertising. In turn, compa- nies set up specialist advertising departments to create more competitive advertising ideas and concepts. This aggressive competition produced several star ad creators.
The birth of
Strong economic growth in Japan in the late Meiji through Taisho periods encouraged rapid urbanization and the emergence of a mass-consumption society. It was a time in which new lifestyles emerged and Taisho modernism flourished.
Prosperity triggers a wave
of new magazines!
Numerous magazines targeting women and children emerge during this time. As a result, magazine advertising became an important advertising medium in Japan.
The Pioneers of the Advertising World
The designer who pioneered
commercial art in Japan
Working as a contract employee for the Mitsukoshi department store, Hisui’s groundbreaking design for posters and the front cover of the Mitsukoshi public relations magazine took Japan by storm. His sweeping ornamental designs incorpo- rated a touch of art nouveau and epitomized the modern atmosphere of theTaisho period.
A man of ideas with
an unfettered imagination
Though he referred to himself as an ad writer, Kataoka was the creative director of advertising for sweets maker Morinaga and liquor producer Kotobukiya (now Suntory). He was also responsible for the first poster featuring nudity in Japan, which advertised Koto- bukiya’s Akadama Port Wine. In addition, he compiled compre- hensive product development, retail and advertising proposals as he continued to amaze with extraordinary ideas.
Copywriter and creator of
renowned advertising campaigns
Kishimoto was a respected writer of senryu poetry and a famed copywriter for Fukuske Tabi (a manufacturer of tradi- tional Japanese socks) and the Glico confectionary company. His innovative advertising projects include his Glico mamebun newspaper adver-tisementseries,hismanga advertising for Fukuske and his exhibitions for touring department stores.
(Portrait photo of Kishimoto Suifu, courtesy of Bangasa-Senryu Honsha)