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bibliodyssey July 28 2014, 14:16

Taishō Posters


The images below are Japanese posters 
from ~the first quarter of the 20th century.

"The Taishō period^ (大正時代 Taishō jidai?), or Taishō era, is a period in the history of Japan dating from July 30, 1912, to December 25, 1926, coinciding with the reign of the Emperor Taishō". Some of the posters carry over to the early Shōwa era: Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito)^ reigned from 1926 to 1989.

commercial print of woman holding ink bottle
Title: Puraton mannenhitshu: Puraton inki [Woman with an ink bottle]
Description: A woman holding an ink bottle. Nakayama Taiyodo. Platon ink and pen (プラトンインキ, プラトン万年筆).
Subject (company): Nakayama Taiyōdō; 中山太陽堂

Japanese lithograph of Cuttlefish with typographic advertisement overlay
Title: Shinshin chinka Kattoru = Cuttlefish [Cuttlefish] 新進珍菓カットル
Description: A cuttlefish. "Cuttle" or "Cuttle Fish" (a snack), Chishima-ya Shoten (千島屋商店).
Subject (Company): Snack foods

yellow bird of paradise lithograph advertising poster
Title: Nan'yō Yūsen Kabushiki Kaisha = Nanyo Yusen Kaisha = South Sea Mail S. S. Co., Ltd. [Bird]
Description: A tropical yellow bird flying over the ocean.
Subject (Company): Nan'yō Yūsen Kabushiki Kaisha; 南洋郵船株式会社

illustration of stylised lillies as part of advertising poster for a Japanese bank
Title: Chochiku wa ne no gotoku, heiwa wa hana no gotoshi [Lillies] 貯蓄は根の如く, 平和は花の如し
Description: Chochiku, chokin (Savings)
Subject (Company): Japan. Teinshinshō; Japan. 逓信省

stylised graphic poster featuring candle and words in Kanji script
Title: Kan'i hoken: issunsaki wa yami [Candle] 簡易保險:一寸先は暗
Description: Kan'i Hoken (Postal life insurance).
Subject (Company): Japan. Teinshinshō; Japan. 逓信省

ukioy-e print in colour of woman in traditional Japanese costume walking, with small crowd behind watching her
Title: Kabushiki Kaisha Tōkyō Tsukiji Kappan Seizōsho = The Tokyo Tsukiji Type Foundry, Ltd. [Goddess] 株式會社東京築地活版製造所
Description: A goddess holding a musical instrument. Tokyo Tsukiji Type Foundry, Ltd. (東京築地活版製造所). Marked with "H" [Hirano, Tomiji 平野富二?].
Subject (Company): Foundries

Japanese colour print of coast beach with crane flying above - advertising poster
Title: Santō Tetsudō [Cranes] 山東鐵道
Description: Cranes flying over Shantung. Santo Tetsudo. Shantung Railway Administration in the Chintao Garrison Army. Marked with [Shantung Railway's logo?]. 青島守備軍民政部鉄道部.
Subject (Company): Railroad Companies

lady in red kimono holding fan - Japanese steamship advertising poster
Title: Osaka Shosen Kaisha = Osaka Mercantile Steamship Co., Ltd. [Woman in red kimono]
Description: Osaka Mercantile Steamship Co. Ltd. A woman in red kimono holding a fan. Marked with the company's symbol, a flag with a character "大."
Subject (Company): Ōsaka Shōsen Kabushiki Kaisha 大阪商船株式会社

Japanese poster for graphic art exhibition 1920s - abstract face and typography
Title: Monbushō shusai Insatsu Bunka Tenrankai = The Graphic Art Exposition: kaiki Taishō jūnen kugatsu nijūgonichi yori jūgatsu nijūgonichi made = from 25th September to 25th October, 1921: kaijō Tōkyō Hongō Ocha no Mizu Tōkyō Hakubutsukan [Insatsu Bunka Tenrankai] 文部省主催印刷文化展覽會: 會期大正十年九月二十五日より十月廿五日まで: 會場東京本郷御茶之水東京博物舘
Description: Graphic Art Exposition - Insatsu Bunka Tenrankai, held at Tokyo Hakabutsukan, September 25 - October 25, 1921.
Subject (Company): Exhibitions / Tokyo

biplane illustration in Japanese advert, early 20th century
Title: Kūkō Hakurankai = The First Aero Show: kaichō Danshaku Shigeno Kiyotake, shusai Kūkō Hakurankai Kumiai: kaijō Kyūshū Beppu Onsenjō, kaiki Taishō jūnen sangatsu jūgonichi yori gogatsu jūsannichi made [Airplane] 航空博覽會: 會長男爵滋野清武, 主催航空博覽會組合: 會場九州別府温泉場, 會期自大正十年三月十五日至五月十三日
Description: First Aero Show, held in Kyushu, March 15 - May 13, 1921, and chaired by Baron Shigeno Kiyotake (滋野清武).
Subject (Company): Shigeno, Kiyotake, 1882-1924 滋野清武, 1882-1924

3 Japanese woman in kimonos at edge of beach near waves with ship in distance
Title: Nippon Yusen Kaisha = Japan Mail Steamship Co. [Three ukiyo-e women]
Description: Three Ukiyoe women in kimono standing at the shore
Subject (Company): Nihon Yūsen Kabushiki Kaisha 日本郵船株式会社

colour printed poster of tall thin pagoda with tree and deer in foreground - tourist poster for Japan
Title: Japan Tourist Bureau [Five-story pagoda]
Description: A deer, a pagoda, and pine trees.
Subject (Company): Nihon Kōtsu Kōsha Japan Tourist Bureau 日本交通公社 (Railroad Companies)

Japanese woman in kimono looking intently at us, the audience; opalescent face
Title: Dai Nippon Seitō Kabushiki Kaisha [Woman in black kimono] 大日本製糖株式會社
Description: A woman in black kimono. Sugar refining company.
Subject (Company): Dai Nippon Seitō Kabushiki Kaisha; 大日本製糖株式会社

tall thin printed poster in colour dominated by crane standing on one leg
Title: Tsuru no Tamago Sekken [White crane] 鶴之卵石鹼
Description: A white crane. Tsuru no Tamago Sekken (soap). Asai Shiten (浅井支店)
Subject (Company): Cosmetics--Manufacture

advertising poster about travel with traditional Japanese woman in kimono and umbrella off to one side
Title: Asia via Honolulu from San Francisco to the Orient: 5 great sister ships [Woman with an umbrella]
Description: An American steamship company
Subject (Company): Pacific Mail Steamship Company

poster: top half is crane with outstretched wings + bottom half has maps of Japan and Japanese locales
Title: Tetsudōin Un'yukyoku [Crane] 鐵道院運輸局
Description: A crane and railway maps of Japan. The Transportation Division of the Railway Bureau
Subject (Company): Japan. Tetsudōshō. Unʼyukyoku Japan. 鐡道省. ǂb 運輸局

poster in colour with young Japanese lady in head band holding open a fan with a ship silhouetted in the sun of a Japanese flag - advertising poster
Title: Toyo Kisen Kaisha = Oriental Steam-Ship Company [Woman with a fan]
Description: A woman in blue kimono holding a fan
Subject (Company): Tōyō Kisen Kabushiki Kaisha 東洋滊船株式會社

The University of Southern California's Digital Library display a series of early 20th century Japanese posters, contributed by USC's East Asian Library.

The poster topics in the collection include: travel, Ministry of Communications, commercial products and companies, and expositions.

Thanks to Will C!
This post first appeared on the BibliOdyssey website.
scalzifeed July 28 2014, 10:32

A First Class Trip to Hell is Still a Trip to Hell



So, the good news about yesterday’s flight home is that I was bumped to first class. Yay! Extra leg room!

The bad news about yesterday’s flight home: It left 30 minutes late because they hadn’t finished (or possibly even begun) fueling the plane before we boarded; a dual line of thunderstorms diverted hundreds of miles out of our path, necessitating an unplanned stop at Dallas-Fort Worth in order to refuel; the refueling stop took more than two hours, at least 30 minutes of which came down to waiting for maintenance to say “uh, yeah, you can go, I guess,” that last bit of delay being the thing that caused me to miss my (already once-rescheduled) connecting flight, which was also the last flight of the day to Dayton; and when we landed in Charlotte, nearly five hours late, we had to wait an additional 30 minutes to get to the gate because it had rained too hard.

Yay! Extra legroom!

All of which is to say that I am still not yet home. I am in Charlotte, having gotten a couple hours of sleep at a (thankfully comped) hotel, waiting to see whether the presumably first flight out to Dayton will actually fly, or whether it will be delayed because, oh, let’s say, hamsters in the engines.

I am sitting with hoi polloi for this leg of the journey. Let’s see if it makes any difference.

terriwindling July 28 2014, 05:48

Tunes for a Monday Morning


With so much conflict and sorrow in the world right now, I'm going to start the week with the heart-centred music of Mali, which has a very long tradition of using songs and musical rhythms in support of physical, spiritual, and cultural healing.

Above: "kakKar," peformed by the great Boubacar Traoré, from Kayes in western Mali. His songwriting is rooted in the traditional music of the Mande cultural region mixed with influences ranging from Arab music to American blues.

Below: "Wassiye," performed by Habib Koité (and his band, Bamada), who comes from a long line of Khassonké griots in western Mali. He grew up listening to his paternal grandfather play the kamele n’goni, a traditional four-stringed instrument, and developed his distinctive guitar style (tuned to a pentatonic scale and played on open strings, like the kamale n'goni) while accompanying his griot mother.

Above, "Tinki Hiiri" performed by Afel Bocoum (and his band, Alkibar), who comes from Niafunké, on the Niger River in central Mali.  Bocoum, of the Sonrai people, grew up with the se galarare style of traditional music, which he learn from his father, a performer of the njarka and njurkel (single and double stringed instruments). At only 13, Bocoum went on tour with his uncle, the legendary Ali Farka Toure, playing in his uncle's band for ten years before striking out on his own. Bocoum sings primarily in Sonrai, his native language, but also in Tamasheq (the language of the Tuareg) and in Fulfulde (the language of the Fula people).

Below: a gorgeous song in which 40 musicians from different parts of Mali, and different ethnic cultures, join together in a call for peace. The musicians involved include Amadou & Mariam, Oumou Sangare, Bassekou Kouyate, Vieux Farka Toure, Djelimady Tounkara, Toumani Diabate, Khaira Arby, Kasse Mady Diabate, Baba Salah,  Tiken Jah, Amkoullel, Habib Koité, and Afel Bocoum. The project was created by Fatoumata Diawara, a singer/songwriter who blends the Wassalou traditions of southern Mali with jazz, soul, and other international influences. Diawara was born in Ivory Coast, spent her youth in Bamako (Mali's capital city), and now lives in France.

Go here to read about griots in modern Mali, and here to read about the threat to this tradition in Islamist areas where music has been banned.

And last: East meets west in "Chamber Music" by Malian kora player Ballaké Sissoko and French cellist Vincent Ségal (of Bumcello). Sissoko is the son of  the great kora player Djelimady Sissoko, and, like most musicians from the griot caste, began playing and performing at a very young age.  He comes from Bamako in western Mali. Vincent Ségal comes from Reims.


In addition to the musicians mentioned above I also recommend Yaya Diallo, Toumani & Sidiki Diabaté (father & son kora players), Bassekou Kouyate, Kokanka Sata, and the Tuareg music of Tinariwen and Tartit -- though there's so much good music coming out of Mali that it's  impossible to list it all.

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