Welcome to KOBO Seattle

These advertisement signs are well-known for their ubiquitous presence on Japanese store-fronts from the 1950s through the 1970s. As an advertising medium, they had their start in the 1890s, and through the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa eras they established themselves as the most visible advertisements in the country. They saw a gradual decline in the 1970s due to the increasing pace of product development cycles, changes in residential life, as well as the rise of newspaper and television advertisements. Often, the goal of the signs was not to advertise the brands themselves, but to hang outside to announce what was being sold in the shop, such as farming materials, newspapers, and tobacco products.