2011 年 78 巻 p. 169-188
A postcard nowadays is perceived self-evident as a private communication tool; however, it was once "a new medium" in the past. This paper explores a postcard from a historical viewpoint to reconsider it as a medium. Paying attention to socio-cultural factors surrounding the establishment of postal service system in Japanese modernization process, it will closely look into "Hagaki Bungaku" (in Japanese, the title literally means "postcard literature"), a popular magazine specializing in a picture postcard hobby. The main discussion is about its readers' active contribution as well as its editorial policy during the Russo-Japanese War period which is said to be the heyday of picture postcards. In this paper, the concept of hagaki bungaku, which in fact suggested writing "short literature on a postcard", will be investigated in relation to material characteristics of picture postcards. Meanwhile, the "postcard literature" written by the magazine's readers will be examined in terms of cultural practices, linking with the socio-cultural aspects of Meiji era. Finally, this paper summarizes "a postcard as literature" as "a possible pattern" of postcards as a medium, indicating that the framework achieved from historical approach of media will be also efficient in understanding contemporary media phenomena.