// BarryBlog //

A creative dumping ground for issues that interest me personally and professionally, with the thought they may interest you too. Issues such as the business of design, the design of business, the design of objects, design strategy, creative direction, innovation, creativity, thought leadership, observations, as well as recommendations, mid-century modern decorative arts and architecture, and the state of my thinking (and currently the state of my heart).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Kodomo no kuni: Arts. Education. Inspiration.

The Kodomo no kuni chronicles a variety of creative forces behind urban Japanese culture in the 1920’s—led by believers that art held an important role in the education of children. Beginning in 1922, the Kodomo no kuni was a tangible attempt to market a commercial journal to the general public to present this high-minded perspective and enlightened ideal of preschool education through the arts. The Picture Book Gallery No. 2 Exhibit centers around some 300 illustrations published in the Kodomo no kuni picture book magazine during the first decade after its inauguration in 1922. The images in Kodomo no kuni depicting the children in the latest fashions reflected a mingling of reality with dreams and aspirations. At that time, advances in mechanical technology were reflected in the daily life of urban society. A major theme of children's picture books around the world was technology, at a time when technology was seen as holding out the promise of future happiness. One of the newest themes for illustrations in Kodomo no kuni, too, was the affluence and comforts provided by machines. This exhibit presents the melodies for ten children’s songs (which you can listen to on the site) and the lyrics for thirty in chronological order—both audio and visual. Nine stories by Kishibe Fukuo and one each by Hamada Kosuke and Ogawa Mimei are available in audio form. The commentary section is designed to visually demonstrate, mainly through the Kodomo no kuni, how Japan was linked to the world in every aspect of people’s lives. It also exhibits all the pages of two issues of the magazine to show the editorial presentation of a picture magazine in those days.

More about Kodomo no kuni here.


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