Past Exhibition

the Ginza. And Women  Through the eyes of the women

Tokyo's Ginza is a district with a great deal of history, and the neighborhood has come to be much loved in the popular conscience for its ongoing image as the forefront of Japanese modernity. Undoubtedly, one of the main reasons for Ginza's attractiveness today has much to do with the strong sparkle and luminance it has enjoyed in each and every age. This mode of being has always found particular resonance among women, who hope to age beautifully.

While the Ginza district these days is usually associated with glamorous, fashionable women, during the Meiji era (1868-1912) it was in fact considered "a men's town," with only a very small number of shops catering to female customers.
During the liberalizing days of the Taisho era (1912-26), women's opportunities for social participation outside the home began to expand, and so-called “modern girls” (or “moga” for short) began appearing more and more frequently on Ginza's streets, striding down the avenues and showing off the very latest fashions. With this change in lifestyle, shops catering to female customers increased, as did the numbers of women working in these and other establishments. As more and more ordinary women began stepping out of the home and wearing makeup, Shiseido responded to the new demand by establishing a cosmetics department.
In the wake of World War II, the social status and place of women began growing even more rapidly, and before long the presence of these high-spirited, energetic women transformed Ginza into a glamorous, fashionable “women's town.“

Amidst the westernizing modernity of late nineteenth-century Ginza, Shiseido was founded in 1872 as a purveyor of Western pharmaceuticals, and the company and the neighborhood have walked the paths of time together ever since. This HOUSE OF SHISEIDO & Shiseido Gallery joint exhibition explores the alluring appeal that has made Shiseido's Ginza “hometown” so enduringly popular, and celebrates the people — women in particular — who have been so essential to its development.

The Shiseido Gallery will exhibit sixty photographs taken by women working at some of Ginza's oldest and most respected shops and businesses. This collection takes up the workaday perspectives of these women, who truly know the Ginza of today, offering deep glimpses into the underlying appeal that continues to make the area so special.
Visitors to the Gallery can also look forward to a “mini-stroll” through Ginza via a Ginza district map incorporating wrapping paper and shopping bags from prominent Ginza shops and other businesses at which such women work. During the exhibition period, the Shiseido Gallery will also conduct a series of workshops in which mothers and their children will take to the streets of Ginza, guided by professional photographers including Koichi Inakoshi, to photograph the neighborhood from the perspectives of two generations. The Shiseido Gallery will print these photos and incorporate them into the Ginza area map situated in the exhibition space, with the eventual goal of completing the map anew.

HOUSE OF SHISEIDO will hold the exhibition Through the eyes of Koichi Inakoshi with a supplementary exhibition of Ginza history. It displays over sixty new photographs by Koichi Inakoshi, the theme of which will be to meet some of the women (including the prominent “madams” of the long-established shops) who make Ginza what it is today and traces the changes that have transformed Ginza — and the image of women with an array of historical materials.

The beauty of the women of all ages who live, work and play in Ginza is the underlying appeal that continues to make the area so special.
Please stop by both the HOUSE OF SHISEIDO and the Shiseido Gallery to rediscover Ginza that continues to give such timeless appeal and beauty!

Biography of Photographer Koichi Inakoshi

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