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Online Course to Utilize Shiseido’s Marketing History

Posted: May 26, 2009

Shiseido announced the inclusion of the company’s cosmetics marketing materials as educational material for modern Japanese history and culture courses offered at Boston-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Relevant materials include advertising, sales counter tools and in-house magazines developed during Japan's Taishō Era (a period from approximately 1912 through 1926, coinciding with the reign of the Taishō Emperor) through to the prewar period, and are offered to the public free of charge (along with a research paper compiled in May 2009) via MIT's OpenCourseWare Web site.

According to a Shiseido press release, this is the first time MIT launched a Web site to introduce the in-depth marketing history of a Japanese company as educational material for the study of Japanese history and culture. The material, titled Selling Shiseido: Cosmetics Advertising & Design in Early 20th Century Japan, will be used in lectures. The material was selected for its reflection of modernity in Japan—reflecting the changing ideals of feminine beauty, the emergence of a vibrant consumer culture, cutting-edge trends in advertising and packaging, and the persistence of cosmopolitan ideals in the midst of the rise of militarism in the 1930s. This unit draws on Shiseido’s archives, focusing on the marketing of concepts of modern beauty from the 1920s through 1943.