This sign from a Nagoya subway is for waxing and other hair removal.
The three big kanji read:
夏恋 肌 ("summer love skin")
But I'm more interested in the words written in Roman letters above the kanji. The combination of the French word "MUSEE" (i.e., musée ["museum"]) and the English word "PEACE" strikes me as incongruous, so I want to try to understand how to account for their concatenation in this advertising slogan.
I did a Google search on the two words with the ampersand between and came up with a lot of really kitschy stuff. See especially the first item that appears, which is the home page for this advertising campaign. I watched a couple of videos that are available at the bottom of the site. The company is an aesthetic salon which offers hair removal, and "MUSEE & PEACE" is their campaign title.
I hardly know where to begin to make sense of this juxtaposition of "MUSEE" and "PEACE". Because the model who appears in the photographs is often pictured flashing the peace sign, perhaps it will be easiest to start by trying to figure out what "PEACE" has to do with hair removal.
Three phrases strategically placed on the website are:
suhada ni piisu ga yattekita!
"Peace has come to the bare skin"
tabi de deau! piisu na watashi
"I, who met peace on [my] journey / during my travels."
okkina waraigao de, piisu na mainichi
"Peaceful every day, with a big smile on my face."
okkina egao / waraigao de ("with a face having a big smile") — okkina is a corrupt form of ōkina ("big")
egao / waraigao ("smiling face")
I suppose this all boils down to the fact that, if you undergo their treatment, you will be at peace because you don't have to worry about your body hair being seen by others.
This feeling of calm is symbolized by the single or double peace sign displayed by the model in her various comely poses. Perhaps one may also think of it as signifying victory over unwanted body hair.
The same idea of overcoming occurs in a previous campaign slogan, "shōbu hada o te ni iretai 勝負肌を手に入れたい"（"[I] want to obtain skin fitting for battle").
This notion of shōbu 勝負 ("match; contest; game") is nowadays used to express special items / outlooks to win battles (against other women, over attractive boys, etc.), and this usage is especially known through shōbu shitagi 勝負下着 ("lingerie fit for battle"). It may also be used for men, as instanced by shōbu kutsu 勝負靴 ("shoes fit for battle"), shōbu fuku 勝負服 ("clothes fit for battle"), and so forth.
For a closer look at shōbu shitagi 勝負下着 ("lingerie fit for battle"), ahem, scroll down to the third section of this article: "Hierarchy at work, hiding in underwear drawer".
Thus, as used in this campaign, the peace sign is double-edged, for it simultaneously emblematizes composure and victory.
There's also the very practical (marketing) reason for having the model pose with her arms raised to display the peace sign, since she needs to show her armpits, inasmuch as they are an important focus in the hair removal business.
There are, as well, many other cultural elements that are included in this "peace" pose, which is so ubiquitous in East Asia. Aside from the main reasons for using it in their campaign that I have pointed out above, the company behind this ad undoubtedly capitalized upon these additional attributes of the peace / victory sign as well.
A special variant of the "peace" pose, one of the most common "cute" poses in East Asia, is known as the yoko pīsu 横ピース ("horizontal peace sign"), and perhaps by other names as well. (Google Image search.)
One theory going is that it makes the face look smaller and the eyes bigger, both of which are considered extremely desirable traits. Here's a blog entry collecting the yoko pīsu 横ピース of a Korean singer popular in Japan.
I think we've gone about as far as we need to in analyzing the "PEACE" part of this campaign name. At least for me, it is harder to get a handle on the "MUSEE" part.
This body hair removal company appears to be part of a corporation, and all sections targeting young females seem to use Musee (e.g., Musee Travel) as part of their name.
I suppose that one of the reasons the parent company chose "Musee" for their various campaigns aimed at young women is that it conveys the sense of "shrine of the Muses", which connotes ideal women who inspire. Another purpose for picking "Musee" is that it implies that you will look like a work of art after undergoing their treatment.
And why "Musee" rather than "Museum"? Well, the Japanese love almost anything French. Now it's time to point out that they also love anything that is kawaii ("cute"), and the model in these photographs is the epitome of cuteness.
I think that her name is Torindoru Reina トリンドル玲奈 / トリンドル れいな (Reina Triendl). She is a Japanese fashion model, what is known in Japan as tarento タレント ("talent"). She was born in Vienna on January 23, 1992. According to this website, her father is German and her mother is Japanese, and she has a sister named Luna.
I shouldn't fail to mention that, like Reina, many top models in Japan are Eurasian. You might be surprised at who some famous Eurasian figures are.
There are dozens of websites about Torindoru Reina トリンドル玲奈 / トリンドル れいな (Reina Triendl), even one for her feet! In all of the photographs and videos in which she appears, Reina is encouraged to be as cutesy, naive, and innocent as possible. She's often referred to as "Cute Reina Triendl".
BOTTOM LINE: the company is trying to sell a cosmetic method for getting rid of unwanted hair from unwanted places) and there are products that may be required for this self-operation in conjunction with visits to their clinics. Japanese young ladies like Reina love to travel, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if a goodly proportion of what she is carrying in the suitcase that appears in some of the photographs is hair removal supplies and a variety of cosmetics.
[Thanks to Cecilia Segawa Seigle, Hiroko Sherry, Nathan Hopson, Frank Chance, and Miki Morita]