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About us

Japan Rock Archive is an online gallery / store of original vintage Japanese rock n' roll ads. 

About The Collection

Ever since rock n’ roll was first introduced to Japan in the 1950’s, foreign rock bands have enjoyed a popularity here that has often equaled and, in some cases, even surpassed their fame back home.

Serious music collectors have long coveted the collectable by-products of this popularity; Japanese tour programs, posters, Japan-pressed records; the list of Japanese rock n’ roll memorabilia is endless.

Along with these more well known collectables a lesser known artifact has slowly found its way onto the want lists of collectors: vintage magazine ads. Published in the Japanese music press to promote a new record release, these were usually full page size ads appearing one time and one time only (although some ran in a consecutive issue, usually with slight design variations). Designed specifically for the Japanese market these ads featured unusual graphics enhanced by the very unique and beautiful Japanese writing script. In many cases these ads are the only graphic material that remains to document a record release as not all bands were well known enough in Japan to warrant additional promotional materials such as store flyers or full size posters. Most of these ads are now becoming rare and hard to find due to the fact that magazines were usually printed in limited quantities, not to mention the fact that they were often discarded after reading. Any ads that remain, especially from the 60's, 70's or 80's are sure to increase in value and collectability.

This online gallery celebrates the beauty of these unique ads. All ads featured here were culled from the actual Japanese music magazine that they appeared in and are the original published pages. 

To make it easier for viewers to access the specific artist they are interested in, ads have been grouped into separate artist/band collections. Just click on a collection link to view the collection.

We absolutely love these ads and have been collecting them for many years!

These beautiful, and dare we say ‘exotic’ vintage ads look wonderful framed and displayed on a wall and make very unique gifts! Thanks for stopping by and we hope you enjoy the collection!

Who Runs The Archive?

The Japan Rock Archive is archived/curated by me, Tim (also known to some of you as Tokyotim on eBay). I am a long time resident of Tokyo (40 years and counting!) and have lived here since 1978. Arriving in Japan as a rock-obsessed teenager I felt at home as soon as I discovered the local magazine stand and its copies of Music Life, Ongaku Senka, Rockin' On and other Japanese music magazines featuring my favorite rock bands. Glancing through these exotic looking magazines two obsessions were born: the desire to study the Japanese language and the strange urge to collect the unique looking ads of my favorite artists. One ad led to another and soon an ad-diction (ha ha) was born! The pile of ads grew higher and higher and started to take over. It was either ad-holics anonymous  (ha ha again) or get serious and do something with the collection. And so the Japan Rock Archive was born, first on eBay and now here at its own dedicated online home.

I hope you enjoy the collection! Any comments or feedback will be very appreciated! You can contact us easily from the link at the bottom of our front page.

Tim / Japan Rock Archive

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