Boston Public Library
Exhibitions

Destination: Tokyo, Japan

Japan
Japan. Munetsugu Satomi (1900-1995).
Japanese Tourist Board, Seihan Printing Co., Osaka.
1937, color lithograph.
19-japan-stamp map-legs-19

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

Japanese-born artist Munetsugu Satomi arrived in Paris in 1922 and went on to a successful career in poster design, fielding commissions both in France and Japan. In this poster for the Japanese Tourist Board, artist Satomi creates a strong, personal impression of a train racing along the track—impressively fast and breathtakingly beautiful.

The poster also captures the national mood in Japan during this period: a delicate balance of traditionalism, symbolized by the cherry tree and national flag, and industrial modernity, represented by the speeding railway and telephone masts. The image simultaneously glorifies both Japanese technical prowess and the beauty of the pastoral countryside.

 
 

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