Marketing Beauty from the 1910s to 1930
Ads & Posters, 1914–1930
Japan experienced an economic boom during World War One (1914 to 1918), and with this emerged new middle class consumers, particularly in the cities. Despite the temporary devastation wrought by the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923 that destroyed large portions of the capital Tokyo and surrounding areas, the ensuing post-earthquake “reconstruction boom” stimulated an already emergent cosmopolitan urban culture centering on department stores, cafes and cabarets, modern cinema and theater, and cutting-edge innovations in business, industry, and popular culture. Shiseido’s posters and advertisements were at the forefront of this dramatic transformation in consumer society, particularly in regards to marketing new concepts of modern beauty and hygiene.