I recently found a wonderful, off the beaten track shop that sells all vintage Japanese things, from furniture to clothing catalogs. In a world where the Gap and Anne Taylor are everywhere, and the graphics are more or less the same, its refreshing to find a graphic artifact (1940) that is so unique to its time and place that it is not homogenized by globalization.
Kimono, which means a “thing to wear” is so rooted in Japanese culture that it will never be a pair of jeans or tank top. And the symbolism embodied in it will never give way to mere style or fashion. This catalog is more than quaint; it’s a piece of popular Japanese commercial art history.