These posters date from Japan’s Taishō era – July 30, 1912, to December 25, 1926, coinciding with the reign of the Emperor Taishō (his name means “great righteousness”). Some of the posters carry over to the early Shōwa era: Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito) reigned from 1926 to 1989.
Title: Puraton mannenhitshu: Puraton inki [Woman with an ink bottle]
Description: A woman holding an ink bottle. Nakayama Taiyodo. Platon ink and pen (プラトンインキ, プラトン万年筆).
Subject (company): Nakayama Taiyōdō; 中山太陽堂
Title: Kan’i hoken: issunsaki wa yami [Candle] 簡易保險：一寸先は暗
Description: Kan’i Hoken (Postal life insurance).
Subject (Company): Japan. Teinshinshō; Japan. 逓信省
Emperor Taishō was unwell for much of his life. His era is marked by a movement away from elder statesmen (genrō) to the Imperial Diet of Japan and democratic parties. The age coincides with rise of a liberal movement, the so-called “Taishō democracy” – distinguished from the preceding chaotic Meiji period and the following militarism-driven first part of the Shōwa period.
Title: Nan’yō Yūsen Kabushiki Kaisha = Nanyo Yusen Kaisha = South Sea Mail S. S. Co., Ltd. [Bird]
Description: A tropical yellow bird flying over the ocean.
Subject (Company): Nan’yō Yūsen Kabushiki Kaisha; 南洋郵船株式会社
Title: Santō Tetsudō [Cranes] 山東鐵道
Description: Cranes flying over Shantung. Santo Tetsudo. Shantung Railway Administration in the Chintao Garrison Army. Marked with [Shantung Railway’s logo?]. 青島守備軍民政部鉄道部.
Subject (Company): Railroad Companies
Telecommunication and mass media advanced swiftly during this time… Asia’s first subway, connecting the Asakusa and Ueno areas of Tokyo, opened in 1927. Shopping districts with department stores became a major locus for displaying advertisements, in addition to other public gathering spots, such as bathhouses, barbershops, and inns. Another emblematic innovation of the Taishō period was mechanical reprography, which brought higher quality mass printing, including posters promoting contemporary and cultured lifestyles or leisure activities including tourism. In other words, the very posters seen in this exhibition embody Japan’s emerging modernity
– Rika Hiro
Title: Chochiku wa ne no gotoku, heiwa wa hana no gotoshi [Lillies] 貯蓄は根の如く, 平和は花の如し
Description: Chochiku, chokin (Savings)
Subject (Company): Japan. Teinshinshō; Japan. 逓信省
Title: Shinshin chinka Kattoru = Cuttlefish [Cuttlefish] 新進珍菓カットル
Description: A cuttlefish. “Cuttle” or “Cuttle Fish” (a snack), Chishima-ya Shoten (千島屋商店).
Subject (Company): Snack foods
Title: Osaka Shosen Kaisha = Osaka Mercantile Steamship Co., Ltd. [Woman in red kimono]
Description: Osaka Mercantile Steamship Co. Ltd. A woman in red kimono holding a fan. Marked with the company’s symbol, a flag with a character “大.”
Subject (Company): Ōsaka Shōsen Kabushiki Kaisha 大阪商船株式会社
Title: Monbushō shusai Insatsu Bunka Tenrankai = The Graphic Art Exposition: kaiki Taishō jūnen kugatsu nijūgonichi yori jūgatsu nijūgonichi made = from 25th September to 25th October, 1921: kaijō Tōkyō Hongō Ocha no Mizu Tōkyō Hakubutsukan [Insatsu Bunka Tenrankai] 文部省主催印刷文化展覽會: 會期大正十年九月二十五日より十月廿五日まで: 會場東京本郷御茶之水東京博物舘
Description: Graphic Art Exposition – Insatsu Bunka Tenrankai, held at Tokyo Hakabutsukan, September 25 – October 25, 1921.
Subject (Company): Exhibitions / Tokyo
Title: Nippon Yusen Kaisha = Japan Mail Steamship Co. [Three ukiyo-e women]
Description: Three Ukiyoe women in kimono standing at the shore
Subject (Company): Nihon Yūsen Kabushiki Kaisha 日本郵船株式会社
Title: Dai Nippon Seitō Kabushiki Kaisha [Woman in black kimono] 大日本製糖株式會社
Description: A woman in black kimono. Sugar refining company.
Subject (Company): Dai Nippon Seitō Kabushiki Kaisha; 大日本製糖株式会社
Title: Japan Tourist Bureau [Five-story pagoda]
Description: A deer, a pagoda, and pine trees.
Subject (Company): Nihon Kōtsu Kōsha Japan Tourist Bureau 日本交通公社 (Railroad Companies)
Title: Kūkō Hakurankai = The First Aero Show: kaichō Danshaku Shigeno Kiyotake, shusai Kūkō Hakurankai Kumiai: kaijō Kyūshū Beppu Onsenjō, kaiki Taishō jūnen sangatsu jūgonichi yori gogatsu jūsannichi made [Airplane] 航空博覽會: 會長男爵滋野清武, 主催航空博覽會組合: 會場九州別府温泉場, 會期自大正十年三月十五日至五月十三日
Description: First Aero Show, held in Kyushu, March 15 – May 13, 1921, and chaired by Baron Shigeno Kiyotake (滋野清武).
Subject (Company): Shigeno, Kiyotake, 1882-1924 滋野清武, 1882-1924
Title: Tsuru no Tamago Sekken [White crane] 鶴之卵石鹼
Description: A white crane. Tsuru no Tamago Sekken (soap). Asai Shiten (浅井支店)
Subject (Company): Cosmetics–Manufacture
Title: Toyo Kisen Kaisha = Oriental Steam-Ship Company [Woman with a fan]
Description: A woman in blue kimono holding a fan
Subject (Company): Tōyō Kisen Kabushiki Kaisha 東洋滊船株式會社
Title: Tetsudōin Un’yukyoku [Crane] 鐵道院運輸局
Description: A crane and railway maps of Japan. The Transportation Division of the Railway Bureau
Subject (Company): Japan. Tetsudōshō. Unʼyukyoku Japan. 鐡道省. ǂb 運輸局
Title: Asia via Honolulu from San Francisco to the Orient: 5 great sister ships [Woman with an umbrella]
Description: An American steamship company
Subject (Company): Pacific Mail Steamship Company
Via: BibliOdyssey, USC