- マス・コミュニケーション研究 (ISSN:13411306)
- vol.87, pp.77-95, 2015
The aim of this paper is to study the materiality of media through the experiential analysis of the history of model kits in Japan. The authors focus on the following questions: "What is materiality of media?" and "How are materiality and intermediacy related to each other?" Answering these questions requires hypothesis development for theoretical considerations based on experiential analysis of a specific medium that has materiality as its essential element. In this study, the authors examine the history of model kits in Japan. This paper analyzes the history of model kits in Japan from the 1900s through the 1960s by using a variety of materials, which include miniature model products, miniature model magazines, statistical data and yearbooks of related companies. The authors' findings show that different media were created in different periods: scientific miniature models that mediated the future before World War II; armament models that mediated the present during World War II; and scale models during the post-war period of rapid economic growth. At the same time, the creation of these media was inextricably connected with materials, such as wood, metals, substitute materials, and plastic. However, these materials and models were originally not separate entities but represented different aspects of a single medium. In other words, scientific models were the same medium as models made of wood and metals; armament models were inseparable from substitute materials; and scale models were the same as plastic models. As these examples show, analyzing the creation of media, including actors (materials), leads us to reconsider the deterministic understanding of the essence of a medium. These considerations led to the following conclusion regarding the materiality of media: Specific materials are used to form a specific medium and the resulting materiality creates dynamic changes in the intermediacy of the medium. Inversely, a medium appears to have diachronic identity due to the inextricable connection between the materiality and intermediacy of the medium, which causes its different elements to form a specific area as a group despite the variability of individual elements.