Call for Papers: The Society for the Study of Japonisme International Symposium 2022 “Graphic design and Japonisme: 19th – 20th century”

Call for Papers: The Society for the Study of Japonisme International Symposium 2022 Graphic design and Japonisme: 19th – 20th century”

Date: Saturday November 12, 2022  Virtual Symposium
Organizers: The Society for the Study of Japonisme / Ebara Hatakeyama Memorial Foundation
Language: Japanese or English (with simultaneous interpretation)
Requirements: The Society for the Study of Japonisme membership.
Non-members may sign up when submitting their proposals (see the “Join Us” page on our website
Your proposal will be considered once the Board of Directors approves your membership application.

Please email an abstract for a 20-minute presentation as attachment (single-page A4 document of about 300 words) to the address below by 17:00, June 30,2022, Japan Standard Time. Submissions will be reviewed by the Board of Directors and accepted applicants will be notified around August 15.
Please note that we don’t accept papers which have been published elsewhere. Accepted applicants will be asked to submit their papers and pre-recorded video presentations by October 17 in preparation for simultaneous translation.

In order to prevent the spread of Covid-19, this year’s symposium will be held virtually. Presentations and discussions will take place on-line with simultaneous translation into English or Japanese. Please note that in case of further spread of the Covid-19, we might have to make changes to our schedule or even reschedule the entire symposium.


The Society for the Study of Japonisme is pleased to announce the 2022 edition of its International Symposium, co-organized with the Ebara Hatakeyama Memorial Foundation. Under the general theme “Graphic design and Japonisme: 19th – 20th century,” the symposium aims to examine the phenomena of Japonisme from a wide range of viewpoints.
The significance of Japanese graphic design has been discussed in relation to ukiyoe art production or as zuan (design) in craft production, but it has received less attention as a major visual language that has been expressed in a diverse range of forms over the past two centuries. Beyond ukiyoe prints and books from the Edo period, graphic design in Japan has evolved since the Meiji era to serve diverse commercial interests and has responded to increasing international market needs through zuanchō (books collecting design patterns), mihonchō (books showing sample products), posters, and packaging. During World War II, graphic design was also mobilized for propaganda purposes. The postwar period saw an expansion in poster and booklet designs for cinema, theater, music, and other social and cultural events. Today, Japanese graphic design as seen through posters and product packaging represents one of the most influential visual languages impacting western aesthetics. Throughout the twentieth century, western designers of film, music, and theatre posters looked to Japanese graphics and typography for inspiration while Japanese designers studied the work of their European and American counterparts. The Japanese taste for “empty space” and simplicity continues to receive admiration for its elegance and has beenadapted in the West for various creative expressions across different media and genres to this day.

The upcoming symposium considers the reciprocal influences and cross-cultural exchanges that have been taking between Japan and the West since the nineteenth century in their relation to graphic design. Topics for presentations may include zuan, the application of design in various decorative and industrial arts, as well as issues in contemporary graphic design.


Send enquiries and proposals to:

(The Society for the Studies of Japonisme, Directors in Charge: Atsuko Tanaka, Sadao Fujihara)