Journal Article

Merchandising Art and Identity in Meiji Japan: Kyoto <i>Nihonga</i> Artists' Designs for Takashimaya Department Store, 1868–1912

Julia Sapin

in Journal of Design History

Published on behalf of Design History Society

Volume 17, issue 4, pages 317-336
Published in print December 2004 | ISSN: 0952-4649
Published online December 2004 | e-ISSN: 1741-7279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jdh/17.4.317
Merchandising Art and Identity in Meiji Japan: Kyoto Nihonga Artists' Designs for Takashimaya Department Store, 1868–1912

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Department-store patronage of painters contributed to the development of painting practice and commercial design during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Japan. This article offers a case study of Takashimaya department store's employment of Kyoto painters of nihonga (Japanese-style painting) to create designs for both foreign and domestic markets. In their work for Takashimaya, these artists culled certain images from the past and developed new types of imagery that have come to define Kyoto nihonga and that informed early Japanese commercial design. These images not only helped to promote the store's products, they also provided visual manifestations of Japanese national identity. Through investigation of Takashimaya's strategies of representation during this period and analysis of images that resulted from Takashimaya's patronage, this study will trace the path of this artistic development and examine its convergence with the formation of Japanese national consciousness during this period.

Keywords: department store—design history—Japan—marketing—Meiji—national identity

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: History of Art ; Art Forms ; Industrial and Commercial Art ; Art Styles

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