What better to put on your design blog on such a day but your Dad in an ad? Here's Tanya's Dad John in a Sapporo Beer poster from 1959.
The text reads:
Genuine London kid
Cornish-kun Second dan at the Kodokan
Living in Japan for two years
What I like is Judo, tempura
and this Sapporo Beer!
There's a wacky lack of punctuation so our buddy Tadashi who helped with the translation, advised we leave it out too. (Thanks Tadashi!). The straplines at the bottom read:
45 degrees north is the true home of beer
Munich • Sapporo • Milwaukee.
So what does this mean? The campaign claims that like the other beer capitals of world, Munich and Milwaukee, Sapporo is also 45 degrees north. A quick Google search tells you this isn't so, but a little bending of the truth to give Japanese beer more cachet makes good advertising sense.
And how did John come to advertise beer? In 1958 he travelled from Stepney to Tokyo to study Judo at the Kodokan (the founding school) and to learn Japanese. Being a foreign resident was a little unusual in those days, so after being featured in the local newspaper and on radio, he was spotted by the advertising company. The cash came in very handy, earning him about £40, the shirt on his back and a free meal.
(Below is the magazine version that’s unfortunately taken a bit of a battering in the family archive.)
Although John’s advertising career didn’t stretch beyond this campaign, his passion for Judo wasn't so short-lived. He’s remained faithful to his calling and is now seventh dan. While in Tokyo he also took up Aikido (having the privilege to study under the founder Ueshiba) eventually taking himself through to eighth dan. John was so dedicated to both martial arts that he trained seven days a week, often up to four times a day. But, despite this very busy schedule, he also found time to meet and marry Tanya's Mum Setsuko, giving birth to their first child in 1963.
While the campaign was running, John told us he’d step onto the Tokyo subway and find himself surrounded by dozens of copies hanging along the carriage. (In Japan, it’s not untypical to fill a carriage with the same image). Being a modest sort, he’d want to hide in case anyone recognised him. The hiding is over Dad … Kanpai!