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Japan figured in American advertising in various ways at the turn of the twentieth century, both in nationally available magazines and in local newspapers. Goods like silk and tea were imported from Japan and marketed as Japanese to American consumers, as in the 1898 ad from Munsey’s Magazine for Japan Tea. Kimono, decorative curios, and other manufactured products based (sometimes very loosely) on Japanese design were also identified by name and image as being connected with Japan. Advertisements for nationally available products from major brands (Kodak, Quaker Oats, Pabst) sometimes made striking use of Japanese motifs, and a few advertising campaigns relied extensively on this technique. Jap Rose Soap, for example, for several years featured drawings and photographs of Japanese women and children in its newspaper and magazine advertisements, as did the World’s Dispensary patent medicine company of Buffalo, New York, when it pitched the many advantages of Dr. Pierce’s Favorite Medicine.

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| Last updated: October 2, 2008 | Copyright 2005, The Trustees of Indiana University