100% original Japanese vintage movie posters

Japan Poster Shop does not sell any reproductions or modern re-prints.

We only sell 100% original vintage-sourced Japanese movie posters from the Land of the Rising Sun (Japan) and dispatched straight to your doorstep via DHL. 

Our posters are sourced directly from all four islands of Japan. Our extensive network includes Japanese dealers, multigenerational businesses and collectors, who pride themselves on a Japanese culture of mastery, honesty and a love for poster art. 

Our business' primary purpose... to ensure a Japanese-service experience, trustworthy, honest, on-time and stress-free.

All of our posters arrive with a Certificate of Authenticity, which includes our company JITSU-IN Hanko (Seal) and Director JITSU-IN (Hanko).

This is a physical guarantee that this poster is authentic and states detailed information to certify date, country of production and title. A jitsu-in (literal meaning “actual/true seal”) is the one you would use when signing a contract and is an ancient method of certification still used in Japan to this day!

Second-hand goods dealer license in Japan

In Japan, any business or individual who sells antique, vintage or second-hand goods (kobutsu, 古物) are required by law to apply for a license called a “kobutsusho kyoka.” This license is only issued by the police to ensure the antique goods are not stolen property, and a record of the seller is kept as a measure to prevent theft. 

Though it is difficult to obtain this license, once your application is approved, it must be clearly displayed in the shop. Our business is registered, and holds kobutsusho kyoka, a second-hand goods dealer license in Japan.

Quality-check process

Almost all of our suppliers have this license. Over the years, we have dealt with thousands of posters and these are the major differences we have identified between the real originals and fake reproductions in order to determine the authenticity of posters;

  1. Age - though pristine vintage posters do occasionally go up for sale, it is more likely to find at least minor evidence of age and wear, such as fold lines, creases, spots, and discolorations often point to authentic vintage posters.
  2. Paper quality - reproductions are often printed on paper that has a glossy or shiny sheen. In addition, the paper stock (or thickness) or dimensions of the poster will vary in reproductions. 
  3. Ink quality - the printing process in the past is very different from the modern printers with inkjobs more saturated, vibrant and consistent pigmenting.
  4. Consider the source - like other forms of art, provenance is key. While some vintage posters have turned up in unlikely sources, it’s more likely that you will find an authentic poster when you shop at places that have an extensive and trusted network, and supply chain. Other factors to consider are the ratings of sellers, the period of time they have been selling, do they have a physical store, etc.

Here is an example of an original beside a reproduction for Branded to Kill:

More notes on authenticity

When determining the authenticity, we also recommend a couple of things:
  1. Does it have a light/hard threefold? If it is from Japan, it probably should.
  2. Is the back of the poster glossy or very white? It should not be.
  3. This may sound weird, but give the poster a smell! Does it smell old - like something stored in an old warehouse for over 20 years?
  4. Can you see through the back of the poster? Have a look at the image of Frankenstein Conquers the World or Dr. No 1962 edition on our site as an example.
  5. The Eirin number - it should have a stamp number at the bottom of the poster. Does this start with a number? For example, "42" - this means Showa 42, the 42nd year of the Showa Emperor Hirohito - in other words 1967.

Please contact us with any questions, comments or concerns and we will get back to you as soon as possible.