In the novel I'm reading now (「キッチン」 by 吉本{よしもと}ばなな) there is a passage about moving house and preparing 引っ越しハガキ.

What is 引っ越しハガキ? I guess it's some kind of a note/postcard you prepare when you move but can someone give a more detailed explanation, please? Is it to notify people you know to let them know your new address?

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    そうそう、こんなの~ → blogimg.goo.ne.jp/user_image/19/16/… こういうの、オーストラリアでは出さないの? – user1016 May 28 '14 at 23:38
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    @Chocolate Thank you. No, such a card is not used in Australia (or Poland where I'm originally from). – Szymon May 28 '14 at 23:59
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    へぇ... then, how do you usually let friends/relatives know your new address? Maybe by email? (But what did you do before the Internet? Maybe by landline??) -- By the way, many people also send 結婚報告ハガキ, 出産報告ハガキ, 喪中ハガキ, as well as 年賀状 and 暑中見舞い -- 日本人は葉書が好きね!きっと郵便局の陰謀((略 – user1016 May 29 '14 at 7:53
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    @Chocolate: In America, I think it is uncommon these days to know, or even care if someone is moving. People don't often mail things to each other like in Japan (maybe Christmas cards, but that's about it), so you don't really need to keep someone's address. If you need it, just look it up or ask them. For example, my mother recently moved, but I have no idea what her address is. I know how to drive to her house, but the actual address I would have to look up. I don't know most of my friends' addresses either. – istrasci May 30 '14 at 14:25

Japan still sends a significant amount of mail by post, particularly 年賀状{ねんがじょう} (new year postcards). A large portion of the population has a list of the addresses of all the people they are supposed to send cards to each year.

When you move, you send a 引っ越しハガキ to let folks know what your new address is, so that they can update their address in their list and make sure that there is no unexpected 年賀状 delivery failures at New Year.

(It's generally just a simple postcard that says 'We've moved!' and 'stop by if you're in the area!' or the like. If you buy a new apartment many companies will give you a stack of postcards with a picture of the apartment and the company that built it so that you can just use those to send to your friends and save you some effort/give them some free exposure)

Sample Postcard

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  • I wish I could +2 this: 1 for the example picture, and 1 for [都島区]{みやこ・じま・く} in 大阪 because I used to live like 5 minutes from that address. – istrasci May 29 '14 at 15:08

When I saw "引っ越しハガキ", two post cards came up in my mind. First one is as jmac and Chocolate describe, letter to notify your acquaintance that you moved.

Another one is the letter you send to your post office, to transfer mails you received to new address. https://www.post.japanpost.jp/question/108.html

If you get this post card and write down your former and new address, and members (usually it's your family), just drop it to post box.

Mails to your former address will be delivered to your new address for 1 year.

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    Thanks. I'm familiar with that one - in Australia it's called mail redirection. – Szymon May 30 '14 at 3:45

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