Sunday, February 21, 2010

Taiyo Magazine (The Sun)

Before I moved up here 5 years ago I always stayed in the same hotel in Shinjuku and got to know another regular who was a photographer. My Japanese was about the same level as his English - terrible - but over a few beers we somehow managed to communicate.

When I checked out of the hotel for the last time before moving in to my own place, the front desk said they had a package for me. It was a gift from Suzuki-san, a really old original copy of a now defunct magazine called Taiyo (The Sun) which he'd mentioned he'd worked for.

It was sort of a Japanese National Geographic and was first published in 1895 with a few breaks in between. The articles had great photography and the ads were even better, but it was a while before I realised the significance of this particular issue. It was from January 1967, the month I was born, which he'd asked me about a year earlier.

Sakanaya-san (Fishmonger)

Reader's Digest families in Japan apparently had just as much fun as Reader's Digest families everywhere else. (coming from one myself...)

43 years ago, this Pana Color TV was twice the price of an average flat-screen today. Note the ultra-modern glass coffe table.

Houses with instant hot water had almost as much fun as ones that read Reader's Digest.

Another TV ad, this time a minimalist approach for a black-and-white from General.

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