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The POLA Research Institute of Beauty and Culture

A Culture of Beauty That Develops from Cosmetics

Tooth blackener from the late Edo period, Japan

Cupid floral patch box (for artificial beauty spots) from the 18th century, England

The POLA Research Institute of Beauty and Culture was founded in 1976 to understand and academically search for cosmetics as a culture of beauty. Since its founding, the Institute has collected resources and conducted research on cosmetics culture from ancient to modern times, centering on Japan and Europe. We have obtained about 6,500 cosmetic tools and accessories and 16,000 documents, all valuable resources obtained for research. We are sharing the knowledge we have gathered through cultural assets and research with the public through exhibitions, lectures, printed materials, research reports, and more.

In 2018, we worked with the Hokusai Beauty: The Colorful Women of Edo exhibition held at the Sumida Hokusai Museum, the JAPON-JAPONISMES. OBJETS INSPIRéS, 1867-2018 exhibition held at Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris, France), and more. We also held a talk event - Fashion and Makeup of Edo Beauties - in cooperation with the Shinagawa Art Festival as a way to contribute to the community.

We also conduct surveys, shining a light on cosmetic awareness and practice along with aesthetics by the modern woman. We released three survey reports, entitled The Changing Cosmetics Behaviors of Teenagers, Skin Whitening Awareness of Japanese and Chinese Women in their 20's and 30's, and Awareness and Actions Taken Towards Skin Whitening Care. We also work to enrich our communication through the web by renewing our website, releasing a database where cosmetics tools and other stored resources can be searched for and viewed, and more.

Facility Overview

POLA Research Institute of Beauty and Culture, POLA Information Center for Cosmetics Culture
POLA Dai-2 Gotanda Building, 1st Floor
2-2-10 Nishigotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, 141-0031
Phone: +81-3-3494-7250

@pola_cosmeticculture


POLA Information Center for Cosmetics Culture
The POLA Research Institute of Beauty and Culture operates the POLA Information Center for Cosmetics Culture as a library devoted to the culture of cosmetics. The Information Center offers reference services related to cosmetics culture and a small exhibition of cosmetics tools, etc. Feel free to visit.
Open: Wednesday each week (closed on public holidays and days around the end and beginning of the year)
Hours: 10:30 am to 5:00 pm
*Free entrance

Research Institute of Beauty and Culture
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