Osaka Postcard Hunt

By Jason P. Smith, spring 1997 (Updated Jan. 14, 2024)


The first weekend in February I made a trip to Osaka to check out the postcard scene. I found that there are three main areas, Hankyu Koshonomachi, Koshogai, and Nakao Shosendo, which also have a shop in the Hankyu Koshonomachi area.

Hankyu Koshonomachi, also known as Osaka Kyujo Koshogai or “Street of Old Writings,” a building which houses about twenty shops specializing in old books. It is located near the Hankyu Umeda Station on the Midosuji line (near the Osaka baseball stadium). A few of the shops stocked postcards and Nakao Shosendo Shoten Ltd., by the entrance was particularly helpful. Contact Nakao Shosendo Shoten Ltd., at Hankyu Koshonomachi, 1-6-2 Shibata, Kita-ku, Osaka 530. Tel./Fax: 06-373- 1116.

Koshogai, not far from Takashimaya in Namba, is a three minute walk from Umeda on the Midosuji line. There is another Nakao branch and also a shop run by a relative of Mr. Nakao’s, who specializes in rare Japanese and Chinese books.

In September of 1996, he exhibited in the sixteenth ILAB Book Fair in San Francisco, where he sold a 1936 first edition of “Gone With The Wind,” for US$6,500. Once encouraged, Mr Nakao managed to find a few books of old postcards that he had tucked away.

3-4-4 Awajimachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 541. Tel.: 06-231-4105. Open 12-8 pm and closed on Thursdays.

The second branch of Nakao Shoten, near the Daimaru and Sogo department stores, stocks several thousand postcards and many antique books. his shop appears to be better known than the other two areas and, since it is centrally located, has been explored more and tends to have slightly higher prices. The proprietor, however was very genial and helpful, and was both impressed by my title as PPCCJ President and the Japan Times article about myself and our club that was published that very day. He promised to take good care of any visiting PPCCJ members.

Shinsaibashisuji 1-2-14, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi. Te.: 06-0271-0843, located near the Shinsaibashisuji Station on the Midosuji line.

Other possibilities are the many stamp dealers and second hand book shops all over the city, such as the well known Abeno’s in Abeno-ku, located near Tennoji Station in Nishi Tanabe South. It is advisable to call first, as they often may not have what you want in stock. Tel.: 06-621-4634

Prices in Osaka tend to be lower than Tokyo for some items, but not all. With their crowded shops and constantly changing stock, people often do not know whether they have any postcards or the particular piece that you are looking for. If you show an interest to what they do have, and are polite and friendly- but persistent, they just may unearth some treasures for you! It may also pay to call in advance.

*Article originally appeared in the Postcard and Paper Collectible Club of Japan newsletter in spring 1997.

Postcard Guide Contents

Japan’s postcard history and how to date old postcards
Gallery of vintage Japanese postcards – Philbert Ono Collection
Japanese postcard FAQ – Includes postcard glossary
Kokkei Shimbun postcards – by Andrew Watt
Japan Times article on Postcard Club and founder Jason Smith – by Angela Jeffs in 1997
Book review of postcard books – Meiji Period postcards
Book review of Yokohama postcard book
T. Enami – Yokohama-based photographer active in the 1920-30s
Vintage Postcard Shops in Osaka
Year Conversion Table – Figure out what year Meiji 5 was, etc.

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