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Japanese poster collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 3020

Scope and Contents

The collection contains posters on the following topics: Japanese products and design; railways, ocean liners and tourism; Japanese art and design exhibitions; Japanese imperial modernity (including colonies in Korea, Manchuria, and northeastern China); and Japanese Ministry and Telecommunications campaigns. The posters reflect both Japanese painting techniques (nihonga) and Western painting techniques (yōga). Pictorial styles range from neo-traditionalism derived from woodblock prints (ukiyoe) to modernism. The prominence of beautiful women (bijin) as an aesthetic category in the collection is of note. Most of the posters were produced using the offset lithographic printing technique. They were created by prominent designers, commissioned by large Japanese corporations and government ministries, and produced by Japan's major offset printing companies.


  • 1915 - 1929


Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access. Please contact Japanese Studies Librarian, Dr. Rebecca Corbett [].

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the East Asian Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.


3 Linear Feet (3 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



Custodial History

The provenance of the USC Libraries Japanese poster collection is unknown, as is the date of acquisition. The collection, consisting of 45 posters (including some duplicates) was uncovered during an inventory process of an off-site storage facility in 2013.

Processing Information

This collection was previously named the "Asian poster collection" and included description for three boxes of Chinese posters (numbered 4, 5, and 6). The description for the Chinese posters was removed, as they will be described separately. "Asian poster collection" still appears as a collection title in the USC Digital Library metadata for digitized posters from this collection.

Finding aid for the Japanese poster collection
Rebecca Corbett and Bo Doub
2020 April
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries East Asian Library Repository

Doheny Memorial Library
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-1825 United States