Life Ad Balloon book 1938 Japan Saseo Ono

Front or back cover from a 1938 collection of humor stories ユーモア小説集 called “Life Ad balloon”『人生アド・バルーン』, by Hayashi Nikuta 林 二九太 (ハヤシ ニクタ) (1896 – unknown). Cover art was provided by Ono Saseo 小野佐世男, who signs his name in English. In addition to being an interesting visual artist, Ono is a frequent topic of debate, as he was a propaganda painter in occupied Indonesia from 1942-1946. The “Life Ad Balloon” cover is a playful work, depicting a couple riding an ad balloon as is it floats above the clouds. The woman appears confident, poised on the front edge of the balloon; the man seems less sure of himself, grasping at the balloon as if it were a life raft. Must be a first date.

See: Ad Balloons on the Ginza: Float, Young Advertisers! (1890-1989)

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