Between the Great Kantō earthquake of 1923 and the calamities of the Pacific War (1942–45), Tokyo and Osaka developed into some of the world’s most vibrant and modern metropolises. A new generation of creative and financially liberated young people – playfully known as moga and mobo, or modern girls and modern boys – spurred a movement that energised Japanese innovation.

Japanese Modernism, which opens at the National Gallery of Victoria on 28 February, investigates this period with fashion, decorative arts, popular culture and design. Annika Aitken and Wayne Crothers – senior and assistant curators of Asian art respectively – handpicked posters that demonstrate the evolution of a design aesthetic which tells the story of a changing Japan



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