Art in Takashimaya

Takashimaya Nihonbashi store

From late 19th century, department stores in Japan contributed significantly to the development and promotion of Japanese painting as well as the evolution of  commercial design, commissioning works by painters to be used for marketing purposes in Japan and abroad in order to enhance their presence in domestic and foreign markets.

One of these patrons of art is Takashimaya (髙島屋), a major department store located in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya as well as in several Asian countries. The first store opened in 1831 in Kyoto and it was specialized in selling gofuku kimono. From the second half of the 19th century, Takashimaya supported Kyoto arts and played an important role in the development of nihonga painting.

Takashimaya’s festive shop windows in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district are adorned with works by famous painters, along with Rose-chan, Takashimaya’s mascot (transformed into multiple characters) and New Year’s ornaments.

Photos: Junko Nagata ©, December 2020

Taikan Yokoyama
(横山 大観, 1868-1958)

Chinami Nakajima
(中島 千波, 1945)

Mitsuei Saito
(齋藤 満栄, 1948)

Tamako Kataoka
(片岡球子, 1905-2008)

Kazuko Gokura
(郷倉和子, 1914-2016)

Tatsuo Takayama
(髙山 辰雄, 1912-2007)