Modern Fragrances and Cosmetics - The birth of Japanese Western-inspired aesthetics

Isehan-Honten Museum of Beni

poster for Modern Fragrances and Cosmetics - The birth of Japanese Western-inspired aesthetics

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Encounters with Western technology and culture that followed the opening of Japan in the mid-nineteenth century introduced new values ​​to Japanese society. This year, marking 150 years since the country set out on its path to modernity, the museum will explore the modernization of fragrances and cosmetics in Japan. Domestic cosmetics from the Meiji era (1968-1912) through to the early Showa era (1926-1989) will be introduced alongside imported products and related print matter, which informed the subsequent manufacture of Japanese items. This is a chance to discover the progress and essence of modern cosmetics in Japan.
From the Meiji era onward, the Japanese cosmetics industry was heavily influenced by products from countries such as France, Germany, England, and the United States. The introduction of scientific knowledge triggered the pursuit of safe materials, in turn promoting the manufacture of harmless cosmetics, while, at the same time, increasing the variety of products available. The strong aroma of overseas products is something that stood out as being completely different from the traditional fragrances of ancient Japan, imported perfumes thus becoming an essential factor in advocating these cosmetics of the new era. Meanwhile, the appearance of cosmetics and the gap between the design of foreign products and Japanese items was strongly apparent. The Japanese cosmetics industry thus grew with the help of inspiration from the beauty of the West.

[Related Event]
Talk Event: Meiji and Taisho era cosmetics - Japanese aesthetics reshaped by Western culture
Event Date: Nov. 17 (Fri) 18:30-20:00
Speaker: Hiromi Yamamura (scholar of the culture of cosmetics)
Capacity: 20
Admission: ¥500
*Event in Japanese.
*Please see the official website for details on booking.

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Schedule

from October 21, 2017 to December 10, 2017
Closing at 20:30 on Nov. 17.

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