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Junichi Nakahara: Year 111

Junichi Nakahara: Year 111

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【Publisher】Seigensha Art Publishing(青幻舎)


【Publication date】2024.05.16


Author(s): Iwami Art Museum with editorial supervision by Himawariya

Language(s):Japanese and English

In pursuit of true beauty and richness in life: a celebration of a man whose thought and aesthetics remain surpassingly fresh even now, across the decades.

On August 15, 1946, a year to the day World War II ended in defeat for Japan, Junichi Nakahara (1913–1983) founded Soreiyu (Soleil), the first of several women’s and girls’ magazines for which he served as editor-in- chief. His work for these publications would cut across the domains of editing, illustration, and fashion and interior design, marking him as creative force of truly versatile talent.

In an age when many Japanese were still struggling simply to make ends meet, Nakahara sought to offer reading that would encourage people to once again live beautifully with hopes and dreams in their hearts. Women of the time eagerly embraced his output, and indeed, his pursuit of the essence of beauty—as well as the body of work born of that quest—continues to be fresh and to profoundly influence creative minds even today.

This catalogue-cum-companion-volume to an exhibition commemorating the 111th anniversary of Nakahara’s birth brings together roughly 480 images, including of the work Nakahara did for the magazines Soreiyu, Himawari (Sunflower), Junior Soreiyu, and Onna no heya (Women’s Room); the illustrations, dresses, yukata, kimono, and dolls that he created; and the personal effects that he left behind upon his death. See what makes Junichi Nakahara shine so brightly even now, 111 years after he first came into this world.

Chapter 1. A New Generation of Teenage Girls
Chapter 2. Soreiyu and Other Efforts to Make Life Beautiful
Chapter 3. Young Women in the Age of Peace
Chapter 4. Dollmaking and the Origins of Junichi Nakahara

Junichi Nakahara (1913–1983) first rose to fame in the 1930s as an illustrator for the magazine Shojo no tomo (Girls’ Companion). He created his own magazine for women, Soreiyu (Soleil), a year after World War II in 1946, followed by a succession of other journals including Himawari (Sunflower) and Junior Soreiyu. Amid the hardship of the postwar years, when dreams were all too hard to come by, the ideas he offered to women for finding happiness by cultivating beauty in life, dress, and mind earned him a charismatic following. Beyond magazines, Nakahara also worked at the vanguard of a range of fields in Japan from illustration, fashion, and hair styling to doll art and interior design; his sensibilities and thinking continue to captivate hearts and attract new fans to this day.

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