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Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (Japan)

JAL, Nihon Kōkū Kabushiki-gaisha, 日本航空株式会

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
Keywords: japan | japan airlines | jal |
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[Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.]
image by Zachary Harden 24 September 2017

See also:


"Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL) (日本航空株式会社 Nihon Kōkū Kabushiki-gaisha), is a Japanese airline. JAL group companies include Japan Airlines for international and domestic services;JAL Express for international and domestic low-cost services; J-Air, Japan Air Commuter, Japan Transocean Air and Ryukyu Air Commuter for domestic feeder services; and JAL Cargo for cargo and mail services. JAL was established on August 1, 1951".
For additional information go to: JAL (official website)
Esteban Rivera, 08 February 2014

The Flag

"The JAL livery is called the tsurumaru (鶴丸) or "crane circle." It is an image of a Japanese red-crown crane with its wings extended in full flight. The Tsurumaru JAL logo was created in 1958 by Jerry Huff, the creative director at Botsford, Constantine and Gardner of San Francisco, which had been the advertising agency for Japan Airlines from its earliest days. JAL had used several logos up until 1958. When the airline arranged to buy new DC8, they decided to create a new official logo to announce the inauguration of their jet service world wide. In the creation of the logo, Huff was inspired by the personal crests of Samurai families. In a book he’d been given,We Japanese, he found pages of crests, including the crane. On his choice of the crane, he writes: "I had faith that it was the perfect symbol for Japan Air Lines. I found that the Crane myth was all positive — it mates for life (loyalty), and flies high for miles without tiring (strength.)"
The tsurumaru livery was in use until 2002, when it was replaced by a livery called the "Arc of the Sun." The livery featured the motif of a rising sun on a creamy parchment-colored background.
On 19 January 2011, following its corporate restructuring, Japan Airlines announced that it would return to the classic tsurumaru logo starting on 1 April 2011".
Esteban Rivera, 08 February 2014

For the emblem itself, compared to the 1959 incarnation there was seven key points of modification. From the bold effect on the "JAL" text on the tsurumaru, the increased sharpness and symmetry of the feathers, it was to represent a bolder, stronger, more dynamic airline that brings warmth, change and hospitality to the revitalized JAL. (JAL Press Release) There is a flag with the red logo on white seen here at a JAL Maintenance Center (Haneda Airport, Tokyo).
Zachary Harden 24 September 2017

Previous Flags

Circa 1959-1962:
[Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.]
image by Miles Li, 20 January 2015

The flag with five blue stripes should be dated circa 1959-1962.
Miles Li, 20 January 2015

Circa 1962-1969:
[Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.]
image by Miles Li, 20 January 2015

The flag with bilingual writings should be dated circa 1962-1969.
Miles Li, 20 January 2015

Circa 1982:
[Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.]
A flag was used in the 1980's and an image was provided by the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) of New Zealand where it is just the tsurumaru mark on a white background. Judging by the size of the emblem, it was 3/5 of the hoist, similar to the national flag.
Zachary Harden 24 September 2017


[Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.]
image by Zachary Harden 24 September 2017

For the 1989-2002 brand, a flag is seen at an auction website that has both the logo and wordmark on the flag. The font used for "Japan Airlines" is part of the Avenir family. (Source)
Zachary Harden 24 September 2017


[Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.]
image by Zoltan Horvath, 09 February 2014

"Landor Associates created JAL's brand identity in 1989. After Japan Airlines and Japan Air System merged, the Tokyo office of Landor and JAL worked together to create a new brand identity. Landor decided to use the "arc of the sun" image. The 2000s rebranding began in April  2002 and completed in April 2004.
Esteban Rivera, 08 February 2014

There was a brief mention about the "Arc of the Sun" (太陽のアーク, Taiyou no Arku) branding, which was introduced from 2002 and used until 2011. I found this press release (September 18, 2002) that talks about the "Arc" and the reasoning behind the change. The brand, created by Landor Associates (who also did work for Garuda Indonesia, Ethiad and Thai Airways), was created to emphasize the newly merged airline group to be the top brand of the 21st Century. The mark "embodies two key concepts; (1) the strength of the new JAL's Skyward Dreams and (2) the feeling of joy experienced by satisfied passengers. The commanding bold print of the logo itself represents JAL strong belief in constant improvement. The basic color scheme of this new JAL mark is red, silver and black. Red is the symbolic color of Japan and emphasizes the two key concepts of Skyward Dreams and Joy. Silver expresses professionalism, quality, innovation and the highest safety standards, which are JAL's proud responsibilities. The black font [Avenir family] represents dependability and versatility."
Zachary Harden 24 September 2017

Brand Colors

To add what is already posted about the red tsurumaru logo, which was started to be used on April 1st, 2011, JAL (Japanese, 2012) talked about the brand history for the past sixty years and mostly focusing on the main changes between the tsurumaru logo and also denoting color and text specifications. According to the "Agora" article, the brand colors are as follows:

Japan Airlines White
DIC: White (Shiro)
Pantone: Process White
RGB 255-255-255

Japan Airlines Red
DIC: N724 (Shoujyouhi)
Pantone: 1797C
RGB 200-0-25

Japan Airlines Black
DIC: N960 (Sumi Iro)
Pantone: 426C
RGB 0-0-0

Japan Airlines Silver
DIC: 621 Silver
Pantone: 877C
RGB 200-200-200

Zachary Harden 24 September 2017

WWII Labor Association

[Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.]
image submitted by Steve R., 28 January, 2022

Unknown flag, submitted as Japanese (by Steve R. on 28 January, 2022), but I am not convinced the script is Japanese. Some characters look Chinese.
Rob Raeside, 29 January 2022

The kanji read, from right to left: 日本航空株式会社 中野製作所 産業報国会 meaning: Japan Airlines Company Limited Nakano Factory Industrial Association for Serving the Nation

In 1940 the wartime Japanese Government dissolved the existing trade unions, replacing them with the Industrial Association for Serving the Nation (Sangyo Hokokukai), which was itself dissolved at the end of World War II in 1945.
Miles Li, 29 January 2022