Japanese Products 2- Japanese Cosmetics


History of Makeup in Japan

Descriptions of makeup are found in old books.

It was mentioned in the "Kojiki" and "Nihonshoki," so we can say that it was in the early 700s (there are various theories).


Who was the first to market lotion in Japan?

Momoya Juntenkan launched Meishoku Astringen as Japan's first weakly acidic lotion in 1936. It had a skin tightening effect and was used after cleansing the face before makeup.


The websites of Meishiki Cosmetics Co., a member of Momoya Juntenkan Group (headquartered in Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture), shows that they have been involved in cosmetics for a long time, not only lotion. It says “SINCE 1885”.


External sites below




“Utena Vanishing Cream" is an oil-free cream that has been marketed by Masakichi Kubo Shoten (now Utena) since 1927. According to some reports, it is still being manufactured today, so it appears to be a cream that has been loved for nearly 100 years.


Utena's website lists the product as alcohol-free and colorant-free, 60 g, 660 yen (tax included).


Jump to the following external site of Utena Corporation (Head office: Setagaya-ku, Tokyo).



Hand mirror and brush

A hand mirror and a brush that appears to be made of celluloid from the wartime period (1947-).

 The words "Made in Occupied Japan" can be associated with the period.


Popular cosmetics in Japan

Shiseido Co., Ltd. will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2022. The Roman alphabet "SHISEIDO" is more fitting.

I have seen many times where wealthy foreign tourists purchase many "SK II" products. There are many other series of Shiseido cosmetics, so it is hard to choose the right one.

 When a company conducted a survey, 38% of the respondents chose Shiseido as their No. 1 choice.




■Kao Sofina, which is produced by Kao Corporation. There are various brands here, too. Their cosmetics are gentle to the skin and I feel attached to them.




■KOSÉ Corporation, founded in 1946, is beautiful and particular about the design of its cosmetics bottles. It also has a wide range of brands.




■Paula Corporation, founded in Shizuoka Prefecture in 1929, is now headquartered in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, and I was amazed at the beauty of its commercials. I am also amazed at the number of brands.




This was an introduction of Japan's world-class cosmetics manufacturers. Please use Japanese cosmetics to become more beautiful.


Japan's world-class Kumano brushes (cosmetic brushes)

For 180 years now, the "brush" manufactured in Kumano Town, Aki-gun, Hiroshima Prefecture, is called the Kumano brush.

It was designated as a national traditional craft in 1975.

There are brushes used for calligraphy and painting, but here we would like to introduce "cosmetic brushes" used for makeup.

I had the opportunity to have my makeup applied using a Kumano brush at a certain place. I was surprised at how smooth and supple it was to use. I asked the makeup artist about it, and she told me that it was a Kumano brush.

We have never seen a cosmetic brush that beats the Kumano brush, and we are proud to introduce it as a world-class Japanese product along with our cosmetics.


External Sites

(Brush Village Promotion Organization Home Page

What is a Kumano brush?



What is a cosmetic brush?