Post 8 1920’s Japanese design – Kahra

Posted: May 1, 2012 by kahraokeefe in Uncategorized

NAPF magazine cover

Alot of Graphic design in the 1920’s-30’s was directly influenced by the increasing political unrest current in that time. Up until then Imperialism was prodominantly the political landscape. With increased exposure form western cultures, Capitaslism was on the rise. unril now, voting was only the right of wealthy men, white men and landowners.It was also a period where different western philosophies and literature styles entered the country, as well as some attitudes regarding society.

Senki Magazine Cover 1929

This is really evident when looking at the design in alot of publications. in typical propaganda poster style, they use 3 or so colours, with the working class citizen as the hero, strong doing their duty for their country in the wake of the industrial expansion.

Senki Magazine cover 1930

Health for body and country" poster, c. 1930

It was a time of social change, communism was becoming mostly outlawed but the country was divided with many intellectuals becoming detained.  Although these designs were largely politically motivated, the style of the current art movement  was clearly present.

Modern Tokyo" sheet music cover, 1929

Songs of Miss Nippon" sheet music cover, 1930

As you can see in these more artistic applications of design, there was a strong art deco, modernist influence.

The Modern Song (Modan bushi), 1930. Color lithograph, ink on paper

A good refernce point would be to compare the strong western influence on emerging art deco desighn in this era in Japan at the time. Advertisments, lifestyle posters and magazines, and events posters etc, displayed the very similar characteristics, to their western counterparts.

Western Art Deco fashion print


  1. kahraokeefe says:

    holy crap!!!! everytime I fixed the format the images reset itself!!! I am DONE.. sorry about the layour… tried to fix

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