What was it like flipping through the pages of a Japanese design magazine from the early 1900s? Undoubtedly, a lot different. Probably not many advertisements, no top 10 lists or home and studio visits. Well thanks to the Internet Archive, we now know. Shin-Bijutsukai (新美術海) is a Japanese design magazine that was edited by illustrator and designer Korin Furuya (1875-1910). The monthly magazine ran from 1902, and contained “various designs by the famous artists of to-day.”
What is most likely the complete series – all 353 pages of it – can be found, for your viewing pleasure, right here.
What I found incredibly striking was that, while hints of art nouveau and other influences of the time obviously linger, the artwork as a whole felt incredibly contemporary. The vivid colors and the flat shapes could easily mingle with the graphic design of today.