2020 年 97 巻 p. 163-179
Media history scholars have looked at ‘media events’, events held by the
media industry （newspaper companies, radio stations and broadcasting
stations）, and investigated their roles in mobilizing the masses,
popularizing unfamiliar Western genres, and evoking nationalism in the pre-
war era. However, little research has been undertaken on the relationship
between these events and the audience/readers.
In this paper, we aim to understand how the media industry promoted the
participation of audience/readers and made impact on them during the
In particular, we decided to compare Shogi （Japanese chess） events
held by Yomiuri Shimbun during the Showa-era with Shogi events held by
Yorozuchoho during the Meiji-era.
In these events, Shogi players were invited and paid monetary rewards
for playing games. Game records （moves on the chessboard） were printed
in the Shogi columns in both newspapers. Based on these columns, we
compared the audience/readers in each era.
In the Meiji-era, participation of the audience/readers was limited due to
the column’s features. Firstly, it was necessary to clip the Shogi columns and
use them with a chessboard, which made it difficult for inexperienced players
to read them. Secondly, little information was added to the game record, so
only skilled players who were highly motivated could understand the
In contrast, participation increased dramatically in the Showa-era. Firstly,
the columns took up more space and contained much more information than
before. Secondly, column writers tried to increase readability by applying a
prose style inspired by popular fiction. This separated ‘reading’ from other
activities, such as clipping and using a chessboard, and made it an enjoyable
activity in itself. As a result, such efforts succeeded in attracting not only
novices but also people unfamiliar with Shogi.