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Japanese animated commercials online archive

Here’s one for the history buffs: a link to a fascinating online archive of fifty vintage Japanese animated commercials.

This site is part of an on-line exhibition showcasing domestic life in Japan during the “Showa” period (the Hirohito era, 1926-89). Japan’s Research Institute for Digital Media and Content (DMC Institute) digitized of a large collection of TV advertisements obtained from the Momoya Co., a leading food company. The collection consists of 218 animated TV spots that date back to 1953. Of the 50 pieces posted on-line, the earliest one was produced in 1958. These provide a glimpse at a rarely discussed early phase of anime history.

(Thanks, Carlo Guillot)

  • Steve Gattuso

    Fascinating work. Not just for animation history, but general history as well. Note how the pitch is more “just like old-time home cooking” and evolves into more modern society over the decades. Nice find, Jerry.

  • Jay Sabicer

    It appears that they’ve used the same character for most of Momoya’s commercials. I’m pretty sure this fella probably is as well-known as Ronald McDonald or Tony the Tiger on these shores. I also noticed much of their variety of product comes in the same sized jar, perhaps a limitation of the bottling machinery in post WWII Japan. Anybody have an idea what the products are? Hoisin sauce? Marshmallow Fluff?

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Noticed they still use the same guy today…

    Wonder if their products are sold through importers here?

  • Jay,

    I showed these commercials to my mom, who spent most of her life in Japan. She says the black stuff is boiled seaweed mixed with sweet soy-sauce. Actually pretty popular.

    They also sell salty squids in jar (some commercials are there). Very spicy, but again, popular. Both products are still being manufactured today.

  • Christina S.

    @Jay: The products range from soy sauce to pickled squid. Basically, just your typical traditional Japanese condiments.

  • Michelle

    If you go by the Momoya website, you can see all of those commercials in higher quality.

    Just click on this link:

    Under the four thumbnail images on that page will be links to pages that have the commercials arranged by decade.

    Under each thumbnail on the “by decade” pages will be links to each commercial’s own page. By clicking on the black “CM” box, a pop-up screen will open that shows the commercial in much higher resolution/quality than that other archie site.

  • Rooniman

    These commericals are cool! I like them alot.