Imatake-designed Takashimaya advertising postcards, 1947.

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An Imatake-designed promotional postcard for Takashimaya department store, Tokyo, c. 1947, done in a primitive woodblock print style. Takashimaya first entered the Tokyo market in 1897. Its Nihonbashi store (above) opened in 1933.

See also:
Takashimaya Department Store, c. 1940.

Kyowa-brand rubbber bands, c. 2015. The iconic logo and package design for Kyowa were the work of Imatake Shichiro more than 90 years ago and are still in use – as is his logo work for Mentholatum. (Photos:

Imatake Shichiro was born in Kobe in 1905. Influenced by Italian painter Massino Campigli and a student of post-Imperessionist Hayashi Shigeyoshi, Imatake would go on to establish himself as a commercial artist and leader of the Japanese Modernist movement in graphic design, quickly became one of the leading figures of mid-century Japanese commercial art and package design.

Imatake was employed first and principally by Daimaru department stores, with whom he worked on-and-off in their advertising section from 1927 until his death in 2000.

He would also accomplish many commissioned works including a postwar assignment from Takashimaya department stores (including the postcard designs displayed on this page, ca. 1947) and, perhaps most famously, his pre-war era iconic logo and packaging designs for Kyowa rubber bands and Mentholatum ointment, designs that are still in use today more than 90 years after their inception.

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