From woodblock prints and porcelains to Hello Kitty, Issey Miyake and the Honda Civic, Japanese design has indelibly marked our everyday life for the past 150 years. This comprehensive history, the first of its kind in English, explains the emergence, development and social, political and economic impact of areas including fashion, graphic, product and automotive design. From Japan's renewed internationalism in the nineteenth century to the present day, modern Japanese design is at once a local phenomenon, forged from specific historical conditions in Japan and East Asia, and one with international influences and implications. How did Japanese designers and manufacturers become world leaders in their fields? Designing Modern Japan demonstrates how geopolitics, the global market and new technologies led the Japanese government to identify design as an economic and diplomatic strategy in the 1860s. Colonial expansion and rising militarism affected design practice and material culture before 1945, and designers are inseparable from post-war Japan's remarkable economic growth.This book also explores design's potential to mitigate such contemporary challenges as an ageing population, economic stagnation and environmental crisis. Presenting source texts and images never before available in English, Designing Modern Japan offers unparalleled insight into the factors shaping design development in Japan, and indeed how design helped create the country as it is today. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in Japanese design, history and society, and in design's role in society and the economy more broadly.