Unpinning History: Japanese Posters in the Age of Commercialism, Imperialism, and ModernismMain MenuIntroductionJapan in the Age of Commercialism, Imperialism, and ModernismThe Rise of Tourism and the Era of Ocean LinersThe Rise of Tourism and the Development of Railway NetworksProvocation of Citizenship: Posters for the Ministry of CommunicationsExhibition CultureBijin: Posters with a Beautiful WomanArrival of Modern Commercial DesignBibliographyCollection NoteReuse and Remix this Exhibition
Tanaka Hikaru, “20-seiki shotō ni okeru yūbin chokin to taishū chochiku kōdō
12020-05-01T14:57:56-07:00Anne-Marie Maxwell326ac6eff123bb3f77fb517c66299be8b435b479371402plain2020-05-06T16:01:36-07:00Rika Hiroa7d304a4e042125c916f0732fd77fbe42f9203aaTanaka Hikaru, “20-seiki shotō ni okeru yūbin chokin to taishū chochiku kōdō (Postal saving and actions of mass savings in the early twentieth century),” Political Economy and Economic History, issue 214 (January 2012): 19-22.
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12020-04-10T14:43:33-07:00Provocation of Citizenship: Posters for the Ministry of Communications22image_header2020-11-17T15:24:30-08:00This section presents public advertisements commissioned by Japan’s Ministry of Communications to promote its postal savings system. In 1874, the Meiji cabinet introduced the system, patterned after the British model. The government-led Postal Savings Bank became popular nationwide, especially among the petit bourgeoisie, tenant farmers, and students at the beginning of the twentieth century. For instance, individual savings for the Postal Savings Bank accounted for more than 5% of Japan’s GDP and 22% of the government’s total expenditures in 1920. These figures increased until the early 1940s when Japan opened the war against the United States. In other words, each person’s small savings supported Japan’s modernization, industrialization, and militarization.
The popularization of the postal savings system even in rural Japan resulted partly from the ministry's vigorous efforts to advertise this service across the country. Posters for the ministry, therefore, were printed in large numbers but made relatively cheaply using simpler designs and smaller papers. However, this does not mean the advertisements were uninteresting. Three examples here show well-defined images, minimal and clear coloring, and slogans affirming that contributions benefited the country as much as they did the individual. These easily identifiable designs drew the eyes of maximum demography—the core concept of modern commercial design, which was, interestingly, made available by the public office. (Rika Hiro)