Dating photo postcards
When hiragana was used, pre-1933 cards omitted the “ten-ten mark” that turns “ka” into “ga” (see card on right).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.
However, World War I shut down the German printing presses and cards started being printed in the United States or imported from Great Britain. Photochrome postcards have been produced from 1945 to present.The next card was issued a year later to commemorate the twelfth anniversary of the Taiwan Government General, on June 17th, 1907.Since this date falls into Period II, the card has a 1/3 divided back: Here are some other examples of 1/3 divided back cards: On all prewar (1900-1945) postcards, the phrase 郵便はがき is written from right-to-left, as きがは便郵.1/3 divided back: March 28, 1907-February 28, 1918 Period III.March 1st 1918-February 14, 1933: 1/2 divided back w/ 郵便はき: February 15, 1933-August 15, 1945 On October 1st, 1900, it became legal in Japan for private companies and individuals to produce picture postcards that the Japanese postal authorities would accept and deliver at the postcard rate.The card below was issued on June 17th, 1906, to commemorate the eleventh anniversary of the Taiwan Government General.
Accordingly, its back is undivided, since this date falls into Period I.
Precise regulations were published regarding the size of the postcards, and the format.
During this earliest period for picture postcards, the only information allowed on the back of the postcard was the addresses of the sender and and the recipient.
Do you have an old postcard and curious about its age?
If the postcard is used, the most check the date on the postmark.
Any messages needed to be written on the front, or picture side, of the card.