TSUTSUMU : The origin of Japanese Packaging

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Hideyuki Oka (1905-1995), a pioneer of Japanese art directors and graphic designers, used traditional Japanese packaging made of natural materials such as wooden boxes, paper wraps, bamboo baskets, and straw wraps because of his profession. Fascinated by its beautiful shape, it was collected all over the country.

He gradually became interested in the act of “wrapping” itself, and began to see what resided there as the peculiar “aesthetic consciousness” that the Japanese culture had nurtured.

Hideyuki Oka produced a book about traditional packages under his own art direction. He has gained a great reputation overseas, and exhibitions on this theme have traveled around the world and have been held at 100 locations in 28 countries.

This book is based on the “Package” published by The Mainichi Newspapers in 1972, and is a pictorial record of the 2011 “Wrap: Japanese Traditional Package” exhibition (published by Meguro Museum of Art, BNN Shinsha). This is a newly re-edited version of “Hideyuki Oka” by Ichiro Saga (Tama Art University), a design historian.

Release Date:
August, 2019

Author profile

Hideyuki Oka

Born in Fukuoka prefecture. In September 1923, he moved to Tokyo immediately after the Great Kanto Earthquake and studied Western painting at Kawabata School of Painting, which is run by Kawabata Gyokusho. In 1935, he founded Oka Studio in Ginza, where he designs and photographs. He is a pioneer in the design company that introduced the art director system.

After the war, he worked extensively on the design of graph magazines, advertisements, catalogs, posters, etc., and was instrumental in establishing a professional association for designers. He helped establish the Japan Advertising Art Association in 1950, and in 1952 he established the Tokyo Commercial Artists Association and became the first chairman.

In 1962, he established the National Federation of Commercial Artists, which brought together 326 designers from 17 local organizations, and became chairman, with the aim of establishing the profession and status of independent designers in particular.
At the same time, he promoted and enlightened the design based on the art director system.

Hideyuki Oka’s books

Additional information

Weight 901 g

Hideyuki Oka


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