Archive for December, 2010

riding in the woods / 森の中を走る

December 30, 2010

22 March 1974, Canada
‘Cycling’ in Olympic Games, Keeping Fit series
design: David Hunter
based on a photograph by Crombie McNeill
engrave: Donald J. Mitchell

Another stamp featuring a family cycling in the woods from Canada, in mono-colour.  This one has unusual Intaglio effect on it – you can see the Olympic rings over the picture if you enlarge.

I don’t have a catalogue of Canadian stamps.  Is anyone able to tell me about the designer who did this optical illusion?



p.s. Name of designer, original photo and engraver were tought by Jürgen of Europa Stamps.  Thanks, Jürgen!

追記:デザインに関する詳細はのちにEuropa Stampsを主宰するJürgenより教えてもらいました。ありがとう!

want to ride! / 自転車に乗りたい!

December 28, 2010

24 March 1977 Sweden
Keep Fit Activities
designer: R Martensson
engraver: Czesław Słania

The snow has stayed for a week on country roads and I couldn’t take the risk of riding on frozen surfaces.  It was raining all day today, so maybe tomorrow we have the chance to ride?

The detail in this stamp is great, as enlarged below.  Slania has proven that single coloured stamps can be very enjoyable.




under the Mistletoe / ヤドリギの飾り

December 18, 2010

19 November 1980, UK
design: J. Matthews

This snow makes airports closed, rail and tube largely suspended.  The roads are all covered with White and too scary to drive…  Let’s make our home warm and cosy for a long stay!

I specially like the Mistletoe and apples decoration of the top stamp.  Mistletoe is recently recognised in the important role of biological diversity in the wood, because it provides rich food and a base for birds nests.



shrimp, prawn or lobster? / エビ問題

December 14, 2010

*exch. 047

31 January 1966, Japan
Japanese spiny lobster
original paint: Eizo Kato ( 1906 – 1972 )

When this stamp was issued, we were not aware of the impact of the commercial fishing on the ocean environment.  Recent researches are revealing the scale of destruction and I was shocked to watch ‘The Death of the Oceans?’ presented by David Attenborough.

This is the Japanese spiny lobster and they seem ethically OK.  But smaller ones, prawns or shrimps are more problematic.  Shrimp trawling causes a lot of bycatch.  According to Greenpeace Seafood Red List, there are 10 kgs of bycatch for 1 kg of shrimp, and endangered species, such as sea turtles, are often caught.  Prawns and shrimps are largely exported to Japan, USA and Western Europe.

Do we keep enojoying Dim Sum at a reasonable price in traditional Chinese restaurant or look for a MSC certified restaurant and pay a bit more? – Although I am used to choose vegetables and meat ethically, this is not an easy question to ask myself.

原画:加藤栄三 ( 明治39 – 昭和47 )

この切手が発行された時にはまだ、漁業が環境に与えている影響についてほとんど議論されていなかったと思います。最近、デーヴィッド・アッテンボローのBBCのドキュメンタリー『The Death of the Oceans?』を観てショックを受けました。人口の増加と漁業技術の進歩、寿司が世界中で好まれるようになったこと、、、原因はたくさんあるけれど、ともかくこのまま続けると海の生態系はずたずたになってしまう。



season of fish / 冬は魚

December 5, 2010

*exch. 046 ( bottom one only / limited number )

1967 Japan ( from top: 10 March, 30 June, 10 February )
Fugu / painted by Shingo Yamada ( 1908 – 1977 )
Flying Squid / painted by Takayama Tatsuo ( 1912 – 2007 )
Amberjack / painted by Okumura Dogyu ( 1889 – 1990 )

I was grown up in Yamaguchi prefecture, which is known for Fugu fishing.  I remember once my grandfather caught this funny looking but poisonous fish and my mother took it to a fishmonger who had a license to prepare it for sashimi.

Amberjack is a special delicacy for me as it fished far away from where I used to live.  And I was wrong to remember about squid as a winter taste – this Flying Squid, the most common squid is summer/autumn food.

Recently I am more concerend about what I eat – not just the safety of it, but also the impact of commercial fishing on the environment.  Then I started to look up names and the recent statistics.  This list is helpful for getting some idea, from their names.

トラフグ / 山田申吾 ( 明治41 – 昭和52 )
スルメイカ / 高山辰雄 ( 明治45 – 平成19 )
ブリ / 奥村土牛 ( 明治22 – 平成2 )