The World of Modern Picture Envelopes: Taisho and Showa Periods

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This is a collection of colorfully designed picture envelopes, postcard packages, bookmarks, and other items from the Taisho and early Showa eras.

The Taisho era (1912-1926) was a time when the idea of democracy was widely spread, and free art was called for in children’s book education, a trend that also spread to the design world. During the Taisho and Showa eras, the main means of communicating information to the masses was through the mass publication of magazines, newspapers, books, and other printed matter.
At that time, the telephone was not widely used in households, and correspondence was the main means of communication. Young women in particular found writing letters romantic. Among female students, correspondence was especially popular, and letterheads, picture envelopes, picture postcards, and bookmarks were produced for them.

Famous painters such as Takehisa Yumeji, Takabatake Kasho, and Fukiya Kohji also had a hand in their designs. More recently, well-known designers include Kaichi Kobayashi and Haruka Takahashi. Through these remaining imageries, we can feel a pleasant sense of nostalgia in the scenery and people’s lives of those days gone by.
(From “Introduction” by Hajime Miyoshi, Representative of Gallery Kamigata)

[table of contents]
Picture Envelopes of Beer and Spinning Companies from the Late Meiji to Taisho Periods
Picture Envelopes of Kyoto Famous Places by Yamaguchi Hachiko
Shugi-bukuro (gift envelopes) and picture envelopes
From “Smile,” a sample book of congratulatory envelopes
Shugi Bukuro (Gift Bags)
Izutsu design “Maihime” made by Sanjo Sakurai-ya
Famous Places along Kansai Private Railways
Movie Actress
Woman standing
Modern cigarette package
Osaka City Tram
Various oddly designed gift bags
Picture Envelope
Maiden in love
Cats in Love
Memories of a Journey
When You Wish Upon a Star
Birds and Worms
From Journey to Journey, That Town, This Village
Riding on a Gondola
Takarazuka Girls’ Opera
Made by Minatoya
Made by YANOYA
Designed by Toshio Ito
Designed by Yumeji Takehisa
Designed by a famous painter
Unique modern design of MAIKO
Maiko four subjects
graceful and graceful
Woodblock-printed color-printed picture envelope made by Kyoto Sanjo Ohashi-do
Unknown mark
Picture Envelope Album with Playing Card Pattern Cover (Taisho 12)
Sugiura Nonsui (1876-1965)
Designed by Nonsui Sugiura
Kaiichi Kobayashi (1896-1968)
Designed by Kaiichi Kobayashi
Kyoto Washi Crafts, Pyonpyondoh
Pyonpyondoh workshop
Matsumura Suiho fairy tale congratulatory gift bag
Matsumura Suiho Twelve Zodiac Signs Congratulatory Gift Bags
Designed by Seigokudo Yamaguchi, Kyoto and Haruka Takahashi
Original drawing of the third collection of lyric print bookmark by Haruka Takahashi
Maiden in Early Spring
Postcard “Holy Christmas”
Happy Holy Night
New Year’s greeting postcard
bookmark, hot summer greeting card
Packages of postcards

Release Date:
July, 2018

Author profile

Hajime Miyoshi

Born in 1935. He researches the history of coffee cups, soba cups, beer mugs, etc., and lifestyle culture such as the price of ceramics in the Edo period.

His publications include “Poster of Japan”, “Label of Japan”, “Match Label”, “Advertisement Match Label” (Shikosha), “Sobachoko”, “Kozara Mamezara” (Hoikusha), “Nihon Circus Monogatari” ( Hakusuisha), and “Fun Kozara” (Seigensha). Representative of Gallery Kamigata.

Hajime Miyoshi‘s books

Additional information

Weight 501 g

Hajime Miyoshi


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