Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A humoristic article about the matchbox labels from Japan in a blog of Alembic Design Consultants



No Phillumenist I, nor proper collector of anything, but like most graphic designers I love a nice bit of printed ephemera. I bought these matchbox labels in Thailand, and as far as I can tell they are mostly (all?) Japanese, made for the Chinese market and stone lithography printed. I can’t read the text (which might explain much) but the use of flags in some puts them in the  second and third decades of the 20th century – beyond that my ignorance is complete, not that that hinders my enjoyment of them. What is going on in the example above for instance? A diminutive husband and wife extending hospitality to an outsized westerner? or two smartly-dressed children welcoming Daddy home (wondering why he could not afford a full-sized house)? Either way – the drawing, pattern, texture and colours are beautiful.

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This puzzling kitten-weighing scenario is probably not an illustration to a recipe printed on the other side of the matchbox. The coloured stripes on the weight are those of the flag of the ‘five great races of the Republic of China’ (red = Han, yellow = Manchus, blue = Mongols, white = Huis (Muslims) & Uyghurs, black = Tibetans). The kitten seems to be wearing the star emblem of the Chinese army, so perhaps this is about the new/young army being as powerful as all China – plausible, if dull. I prefer the kitten-cuisine theory. Or perhaps this is simply The Heaviest Kitten in China.

Japanese Senryū labels

The full set

The sad girl who likes yellow candy
Senryū (川柳?, literally 'river willow') is a Japanese form of short poetry . Senryū tend to be about human weakness. Senryū are often cynical or darkly humorous.
Senryū is named after Edo period haikai poet Senryū Karai (柄井川柳, 1718-1790), whose collection Haifūyanagidaru (誹風柳多留?) launched the genre into the public consciousness.

Senryū is traditionally written with karumi, lightness. The ability to produce cynical and dark humor or irony out of common things or people, and the ability to laugh at oneself is karumi. (source: Wikipedia)

At the bar

The Shop keeper

The Baseball players

A rainy night

At the Tea Room

The Kitchen Moover

Taking the Bulldog out

Let's sit on the ball! - Pilates labels made in Japan

Sunday, September 16, 2012

And now for something completely different - going back in time to my original collecting hobby: SPECIAL MATCHBOXES that I f onrecent visit at Haifa's Flea Market my ound

Carlton "Like Cigarettes" matchbox

Mini Calculator that looks like a Matchbook

Naked people on Arabic matchbox?

Same box front side
Tricky Pin-Up matchbox - Open the box...
What do you see?

Feature Matches

Old matchbox made in Canary Islands - front side

Back side

Animal combinations on Japanese old labels

The Deerest family

The big Toad and the Cat

The big Butterfly and the Bats

The Dog and the Big Rabbit

The woman who olds the Rabbit with the man
with the big leaf in his hands

Two Rabitts at the field
Two more Rabitts at the field

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