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Our Fav Japanese Star Wars Posters [2021]

Japan has a long history of creating and adapting Star Wars posters for its domestic market. Notably, artist Noriyoshi Ohrai designed one of the most iconic images for the 1982 dubbed Star Wars release in Japan. The striking image features the millennium falcon, it all its space-junkesque glory, taking up the lion’s share of the poster on the diagonal. The artwork is a masterpiece of composition, giving you the simultaneous sense of weightlessness & gravity, speed & adventure. 

Ohrai went on to make artwork for each of the three original Star Wars Trilogy films. His artwork for the movies was often used as giveaway items at the opening of the films. We’ve also written about Noriyoshi’s popular Metal Gear artwork.

Noriyoshi’s Star Wars pieces are very sort after items now, and are hard to find.

Etsy has a Noriyoshi Ohrai page that you can find some of his works for sale.

Japanese artist Noriyoshi Ohrai's 1982 film poster for the original Star Wars film

Here’s one I found for sale.

Ohrai went on to produce several other iconic Star Wars artwork pieces such as this Empire Strikes Back poster that manages to capture all of the adventure, love, fear and struggle themes from the film in one striking image.

Noriyoshi Ohrai's Japanese Stars Wars poster for The Empire Strikes Back

The Noriyoshi Japanese Star Wars Empire Strikes Back poster can be hard to find. Here is a mounted one on Amazon, but withouth the Japanese text.

Ohrai’s work for Return of The Jedi was simpler, focusing on just a couple of characters. It also emphasized the spaciness of the universe, in the literal and figurative sense. It also featured an ingenius reference to the neon-like light quality of the film’s iconic sabers. 

The Ohrai poster image for Return of the Jedi

The poster can be found on Etsy.

A gallery of other Japanese Star Wars Posters

Most people that are looking for Japanese Star Wars posters are probably most interested in posters that most prominently feature Japanese text in the design. There are no shortage of those, especially in the older posters. The newer posters, tracking the trend in Japanese society more generally, are more likely to feature main “Star Wars” text in alphabet.

Japanese Star Wars Empire Strikes Back Poster

Japanese text reads: “Star Wars Series 2!” – “Star Wars, The Empire’s Counter Attack”

  • Large katakana text – instantly recogisable as being a Japanese Star Wars poster.
  • Classi Retro design
  • Has almost all the classic characters in one poster

Japanese Star Wars Return Of The Jedi Back Poster

Japanese text reads: “Star Wars Series 3, complete version” – “Star Wars, The Jedi comes back”

  • Large katakana text – instantly recogisable as being a Japanese Star Wars poster.
  • Striking, symetrical light saber design
  • Classi Retro design
  • Dark & spacey

Star Wars Village as a Ukiyoe Woodblock Print

This maybe taking the “Japanese” Star Wars angle too far, but there is something fun about seeing the Star Wars universe rendered as a traditional Japanese woodblock print…

Japanese Star Wars Return Of The Jedi Back Poster

Japanese text reads: “Star Wars Series 3, complete version” – “Star Wars, The Jedi comes back”

  • Large katakana text – instantly recogisable as being a Japanese Star Wars poster.
  • Wood mounted!
  • Retro design is fairly rough, almost hand made
  • Landscape ratio

Japanese Star Wars Rogue One Poster

Japanese text reads: “Rogue One, Star Wars Story” – “Hope, never dies” – “Another Star Wars”

  • Distinctive Slim Line katakana text – instantly recogisable as being a Japanese Star Wars poster.
  • Includes tagline in Japanese
  • Movie release date and credits on bottom of poster
  • More modern Star Wars Japanese poster

Japanese Star Wars Last Jedi Poster

Japanese text reads: “Star Wars, The Last Jedi” – “Light, or Darkness” 

  • Includes “Light or darkness” tagline in Japanese
  • More modern Star Wars Japanese poster

Japanese Star Wars The Return Of The Empire Poster

Japanese text reads: “Star Wars, Series 2” – “40th Anniversary” – “The Empire’s Counter Attack”

  • Almost all Japanese text
  • Distinctive quasi-art-deco design
  • Classic Darth

Japanese Star Wars The Return Of The Empire Poster

Japanese text reads: “Star Wars” – “Receiver of awards in 7 categories of the 50th Academy awards”

  • Super retro design

May the force be with you in your quest for the ultimate Japanese Star Wars poster!

We also have pages about Japanese Wall Art and Studio Ghibli posters

Japanoscope is a registered affiliate with several online shops and may receive a commission when you click on some of the links within content.

Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts doing a Masters Degree, have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1).

ピータージョセフヘッドです。4年間京都市立芸大の大学院として日本に住み、6回日本で音楽ツアーをし、日本語能力試験で1級を取得しました。要するに日本好きです。

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