Shiseido Diaries: Shiseido Museum


There are times wherein I just want my dreams to happen all at once-It would be lovely to just wake up tomorrow in the house that I have dreamed of owning, driving the cars that I've been forever wanting, living on a passive income, and buying things for my family without worrying if I'll go on a deficit, and doing philanthropic causes in between. Unfortunately, life was not designed to be like that, and there's the fear of uncertainty whether my dreams will come true or not-but that's another story.

What brings me back to sanity and gives me more hope and enthusiasm to tread this current path that I'm traveling is the realization that everything takes time. Time molds you. Time perfects you. Time prepares you. Time arms you with the valuable weapon called experience, the most important thing that will give you your survival. If there's one thing that keeps me hopeful about life right now, it's that in time, no matter how endless the roads may seem and how many detours I take, I shall reach my destination. I'll have my own moment. Cliche, cliche, but true!

Exactly my thoughts when I visited Shiseido's Museum in the town of Kakegawa, Shizouka. I just realized, if Shiseido had waited patiently for 140 years to become what they are today, who am I to complain? I have only been here on earth for 25 years! Clearly, I still have a long way to go. Well, I don't intend to live until I'm 140, but you get my point! LOL.

I haven't been to a museum since forever, and this made this visit my most favorite itinerary. 

Shiseido Corporate Museum is located in the Kakegawa province, which is 4 hours away from Tokyo if traveled by land, and 2 hours away via the Shinkansen (Bullet Train). I rode the Shinkansen, which is one of my simplest dreams in life so YAY! One dream, accomplished! :)

Shiseido Museum was originally built to house all of the brand's products from 1872 up to today. Since Shiseido has been an important part of the Japanese Culture aside from the fact that the brand alone has a very long and rich personal history, it was turned into a Museum where people can visit and learn more about it.

Fun Fact: Shiseido is the oldest cosmetic brand and the fourth largest beauty corporation in the world.

Click READ MORE and let's go around the museum! :)



A portrait of Arinobu Fukuhara. The name Shiseido was derived from a line from an ancient Japanese manuscript which translates to 'praise the virtues of the earth which nurtures new life and brings forth significant values.'

When Shiseido evolved from being a traditional pharmacy into a beauty brand, their first- ever product was a toothpaste!

I have written about the Seven Colored Powders before, the first innovative face powder in Japan. Saw them in the flesh and here they are! :)

I learned that the pharmacies in the late 1800's sold soda. Fukuhara adopted this Western tradition into his own pharmacy, and this soda fountain is from the 1872 Shiseido store. Grape Phospate, anyone? :)

Porcelain, cups, saucers, and utensils from the then and now Shiseido Parlour.

A table covered in glass that showcases Shiseido's perfumes from the past.

This perfume was exclusively formulated for Princess Masako of Japan by Shiseido. It was the brand's gift to her when she got married.

Early 1900's skin care courtesy of Shiseido. Vanishing Cream? I wonder what it does. Any guess? :)

Makeup brushes and a compact mirror from the early 1900's.

If Tsubaki is Shiseido's most popular hair care line now, before, it was this: Flowline Hair Tonic.

Treatment products for the eyes, hair, and skin, specifically acne- prone skin from the 1940's.

Sun Care products from the 1970's, I believe.

If I'm not mistaken, these body care products were from the 1920's or 1930's.

On this side of the museum, a huge wall was converted into mini shelves to house more of Shiseido's products from then to now. I think they have over 3,000 products under their belt!

Here are some interesting items I spotted in the shelf:

Zotos, a kind of hairstyle with American roots, was very popular in Japan during the 1920's. Shiseido had created the first products intended for this hairstyle.

Shiseido Baby products, possibly from the 1940's or 1950's.

I think you know what this is for. :D

Acne Cream and tonic. I wonder if this duo is still effective. LOL!

Shiseido's splash cologne and gel (?) for men.

A Shiseido lipstick tube from the late 1800's or early 1900's.

Shiseido today: Currently, Shiseido owns over a dozen brands, from perfumes to sun care, including western brands NARS and Bare Escentuals. Beauty brands Aupres and Urara of China are under Shiseido as well.


Shiseido Beauty Consultant uniforms over the years. The first batch of beauty consultants called Miss Shiseido, were comprised of 9 women who are talented at makeup and hair artistry. The team of Miss Shiseido went around Japan to conduct seminars on personal enhancement through cosmetics, and even performed theatrical plays about it!

We were lead to the archives section of the museum where Shiseido keeps all the samples of their beauty products from 1872 until today.

This, my dear readers, is the most precious inhabitant and the star of the archives section. The original Eudermine lotion from 1897. Shiseido had pioneered the first- ever softening lotion through this product. Eudermine was reportedly an answer to lead poisoning encountered by Japanese women from wearing face powders with high lead content during the 1800's. Amazing, right?

Shiseido's first president, Shinzo Fukuhara, son of Arinobu Fukuhara was not only a scientist, but a patron of the arts as well. He was responsible for all of Shiseido's beautiful ad materials, and he made sure that the presentation of Shiseido, from the labels to the marketing, were incredibly artistic. During Shinzo's administration, he built an advertising and photography lab right inside Shiseido's first pharmacy where the employees manufactured all the labels, photos, and ad materials of the brand. This same tradition is still practiced in the museum today. Those cute cartoon cutouts on the table? They were used for an ad campaign for Majolica Majorca!

The advertising lab is also an archive, home to every single ad material created for Shiseido.

Right behind the museum is Shiseido's Art Building, a place where various artworks of up-and-coming artists from all over the world showcase their masterpieces. Started by Shinzo Fukuhara, Shiseido has then committed to patronizing the arts.

And that's our last Shiseido- related itinerary during the trip. I hope you've enjoyed the immersion as much as I did, and I hope as well that through my posts, you've had a worthwhile glimpse of Shiseido's rich history. I have more personal diaries on my Japan trip and that includes shopping, dining, and more moseying around the city. Will write about that soon! :)

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Beauty. Fitness. Fashion. Food. Travel. Unicorns. World Peace. Digify Corporation.

8 Lovely Thoughts

  1. grabe! :O i didn't realize how big shiseido is until i read this! and the museum is just amazing!comprising all the shiseido products from the past 'till now..grabe..grabe talaga..amazing! :O

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  2. wow! I felt like visiting Shiseido as well! Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Grabe. Makeup, museums and history: things I all love. Thank you for taking us on a virtual tour. I love this post!

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  4. Maia: You're welcome. :)

    Tellie: Same here! :) You're welcome and thanks for visiting. :)

    CJ: I haven't even showed you the part where they showcase all their ad materials just because we were not allowed to take photos. :D

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  5. wow... i love going to museums kasi siguro i love history.. i love looking back sa unang pinagmulan ng mga bagay,, and i cant imagine na toothpaste ang unang product ng shiseido =) una ko naisip ay mga creams talaga..

    it was my first time to hear and saw (via this post) about makeup/product history.. as in i was really amazed (thanks ms m for taking us to the shiseido museum tru this post) i super love it!

    things learned:
    ♥ tsubaki pala is under shiseido? sana meron sila dito sa pinas =) i really wanted to try it =) (wait ko na lang yung review mo ms m sa trubaki shampoos na binili mo from japan)
    ♥ since '70s pala talagang meron nang mga sunscreens!!!
    ♥ meron pala talaga silang products for babies =)
    ♥ Shiseido Toilet Lemon Juice? feminine wash po ba ito or bath soap? waaah confused ako hehehe..

    thanks for so much learnings today!
    rhain




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  6. Kinilabutan ako while reading this post. One day I'll visit this museum too! Thank you for the virtual tour Miss Martha!

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  7. What a great place! Someday, I'll visit this place soon and write about it too. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us :)

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Thank you for your comments!