Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian HistoryMain MenuGet to Know the SiteGuided TourShow Me HowA click-by-click guide to using this siteModulesRead the seventeen spatial stories that make up Bodies and Structures 2.0Tag MapExplore conceptsComplete Grid VisualizationDiscover connectionsGeotagged MapFind materials by geographic locationLensesCreate your own visualizationsWhat We LearnedLearn how multivocal spatial history changed how we approach our researchAboutFind information about contributors and advisory board members, citing this site, image permissions and licensing, and site documentationTroubleshootingA guide to known issuesAcknowledgmentsThank youDavid Ambaras1337d6b66b25164b57abc529e56445d238145277Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5fThis project was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
12020-04-30T18:06:53-04:00Kate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f353"Hoshi shachō ga Ō-Bei yori motaraseru Kōtetsu-sei Hoshi-shiki kumitate tenpo ni tsuite," Hoshi seiyaku kabushiki kaisha shahō, February 1, 1923.plain2021-08-12T12:05:59-04:00Japan"Hoshi shachō ga Ō-Bei yori motaraseru Kōtetsu-sei Hoshi-shiki kumitate tenpo ni tsuite," Hoshi seiyaku kabushiki kaisha shahō, February 1, 1923.2017032209155720170322091557Public domain.Timothy Yangimage/jpegTY-0006Still ImageKate McDonald306bb1134bc892ab2ada669bed7aecb100ef7d5f
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12020-04-30T18:05:26-04:00Inside an Ideal Drugstore16store clerk; shopkeeper; display; medicine; consumer; general store; convenience; medicinal recommendationsplain2021-10-07T13:14:52-04:0002/01/1923Tim YangTimothy Yang
For Hoshi, controlling space not only involved regulating the layout, location, and measurements of display cases and armchairs, but it also involved regulating the actions of each individual store. The goal was to promote a consumer's sense of free choice, which the company purposefully contrasted to older, traditional medicine shops where shopkeepers, seated on tatami mats, would bring medicines individually for the consumer after careful consultation (“za-uri hōshiki”) (Yoshioka 1994, 9-10). In a sense, the company endeavored to eliminate the social awkwardness of the uneven interaction between medicine man and consumer, which was especially important if the customer's ailment were, indeed, awkward.
To this end, the company wanted the space of the drugstore, above all else, to promote an open, clean, and refreshing feeling that was enticing and allowed such ease of access that the customer would “unconsciously walk into a drug store without realizing it.” Window displays, which delimited the store's boundaries, according to one source, should be designed to catch attention of a passing potential customer and be rotated every week in order to best attract customers' attention (“Beikoku no kusuriya” 1917).
Drugstores thus appeared as another new space of democratic consumerism: the department store. Indeed, the space of an ideal drugstore provided a variety of functions, many of which seemingly had nothing to do with selling medicines. Drugstores often “appear[ed] no different than a general store (zakkashō)” they sold a variety of goods such as candy, cosmetics, and tobacco, and they also provided a variety of services, including postal delivery, for public convenience (“Beikoku no kusuriya” 1917).
Drugstores served, in a sense, as temples of mass consumption, and medicines appeared as products consumed as often—and maybe as blithely—as candy. Yet, at the same time, drugstores continued to serve as places where customers went for medical consultation and even treatment. Compared to the traditional layout of a drugstore, the difference was that the customer did not have to seek that help. Clerks, even if they were not licensed pharmacists, required rudimentary medical training to make medicinal recommendations.