Start Dating postcards postage

Dating postcards postage

Precise regulations were published regarding the size of the postcards, and the format.

After February 15, 1933, the “ten-ten” was added to the “郵便はがき” marking on the backs of Japanese picture postcards.

Here’s a postcard published in 1932, before the change in postcard printing conventions, but after the “Manchurian Incident”: This postcard was published in or after February 1933, which is evident from the “ten-ten” on the kana for “ga” in “hagaki”: This “1/2 divided back, hagaki” style card was published until the end of the war (August, 1945) After the war, “きがは便郵” was reversed to read “郵便はがき” as shown in this next card from the American Occupation Period: Some Japanese picture postcards from Periods III and IV do not have the standard 1/2 divided back “hagaki” mark.

This first example is postmarked “August 19, 1932.” The lack of a “ten-ten” on the “ga” indicates that it was issued before February of 1933.

When katakana was used, however, the “ten-ten” was retained (see card on left): From March 1st, 1918 through February 14th, 1933, Japanese picture postcards were printed with 1/2 divided backs, with the “ten-ten” in が (ga) omitted: This next card retains the “ten-ten” in “ga.” Nonetheless, it falls into Period III because katakana is used to write out “hagaki.” Because the front of this card is clearly postmarked “October 30, 1928,” we know it could not have been published in Period IV.

The EAIC contains 71 postcards with katakana “郵便ハガキ” printed on 1/2 divided backs. Many of them are indeed demonstrably from the 1918-1933 period.

Based on this evidence, I classify 1/2 divided back cards that have “hagaki” written in katakana as Period III cards.

If you work with Japanese picture postcards as historical source material, you have probably noticed that most surviving cards lack postmarks and other temporal indicators.