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Monday, April 9, 2018

Matchbox Labels Of Japan - Part 4

Here's another example of some of the finest matchbox labels printed for the Japanese market. I have done three previous entries on the subject HERE, HERE, and HERE.

For a topic today, let's try transportation. It's a top of my head choice... but let's see what I can find! I know... ballsy!
I'm unsure if an anchor stuck in the mud less a ship is fortuitous, but I'm sure the matches worked well.
Where chariot races with ostriches and Frenchmen ever a thing? I bet it was tres bonne!
The race: The birds seem to be at a disadvantage, what with only one appendage to row their barrel, so I don't know why the cat is losing the race.... probably because it's staring at the bird thinking about lunch.
The Three Monkeys brand implies the three wise monkeys... a bit of carving over at the main temples in Nikko, Tochigi-ken... you know, the whole "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil... which is why I will not comment on just what that monkey is doing to that child. Write No Evil. 
I do like cats, but is this not the laziest bloody cat you've ever seen? Not only is the cat too lazy to walk, but it is being carried around in a rickshaw powered by a mouse it should be eating for dinner. Lovely cherry blossoms, though.
A stylized form of early explorers landing on foreign soil. We mean you know harm, so don't mind the spear and short sword I'm carrying.
Proof that art is reused for different countries. I'm guessing that this was a label for an English-speaking market that would not realize that the Japanese match label bears artwork for a Chinese dragon, with similar architecture in the upper background. Then again... the dragon has three talons, like a Japanese dragon... so forget what I said.
A monkey on a globe... globetrotting? Sure... but I love that the word "Made" is misspelled by someone who is dyslexic, in which case it is correctly spelled.
Obviously matchbox label art from the 1930s, depicting an automobile passing by the iconic Mt. Fuji. It's actually nice art, and I've got nothing snarky to add. Sorry.
A bicycle built for five? That's just daisy. Lovely pink coloring.
Nothing says transportation more than the image of seamen on a ship... am I right?
Again with the cats? If I was a rich, fat cat and was sitting as such behind a mouse driver... I wouldn't want to be downwind having to smell the stench of the lowerclass. Is that what this artwork shows? The cat has lit the tobacco in his pipe to remove the smell from the sweaty working class? Perhaps the cat will stop and eat the mouse for breakfast.

That's all for now. When I'm lazy again, I'll do another one of these.

Andrew Joseph

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