See Japan

japan1926

Between the two world wars, the Japan Tourist Bureau invested significant resources in encouraging in-bound international tourism. In particular, the JTB wanted to attract American and British tourists to Japan, and to do this, they issued posters, maps, and guidebooks (like the 1926 guide to Japan pictured in the detail above). The designers of this promotional literature used a variety of visual strategies to make sure viewers would see Japan as both comfortably familiar and excitingly foreign. The images quoted both avant-garde Modernism and traditional Japanese visual arts. At the moment, I’m putting the finishing touches on a paper I’ll deliver at the College Art Association’s upcoming annual conference in February. I’m looking forward to getting feedback on this new-to-me area of research.  Though not pictured here, typography plays a significant role in this project, as well.

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