Archive for August, 2011

butterfly, radish and sun / 大陽はどこに

August 18, 2011

*exch. 051 ( bottom one only )

9 November 1971, Netherlands
design: Babs van Wely

When I was in the countryside for cycling last weekend, I saw a couple of yellow butterflies.  I had an idea that butterflies are found from spring to early summer and not after the peak of a hot summer.  It seems we haven’t had the peak of summer yet – and I am seeing some trees getting coloured already…

Where is our sun!?

*exch. 052 ( limited number )

Has summer gone already?

But in our garden, the branches of our pear tree are heavily laden with the biggest pears of the last few years.  How about the vegetable harvest?

I like the composition of these stamp designs – wide sky for the butterfly and deep ground for the radish, as well as the sun with big hands.





100 years scouting / ボーイスカウト100年

August 14, 2011

27 April 2007, Switzerland
Centenary of Scouting
design: Marc Waller

Another triangular stamp – in the shape of a tent.  I would imagine that in the early time of scouting, boys and girls were not together in a tent!… now they are happily on one site and enjoying new freedoms.

Each face pictured here remainds me someone I know – it is strange, though.



flying pigeons / 飛び立つハト

August 11, 2011


12 April 1954, Monaco
‘Pigeons released from mobile loft’
design and engraving: Raoul Serres

Following a Dove stamp from Switzerland, I pick up this from Monaco.  I did not know that people had this mobile Homing pigeon hut until seeing this stamp.  Pigeon keeping was popular from ancient times until the 1960’s, as they delivered communication materials. A Pigeon-Gram service even existed at the end of 18th century to the early 19th century.  Domestic pigeons also provided valuable manure for farmers – thus many beautiful Dovecotes still exist.


prayer for peace / 平和の祈り

August 6, 2011

16 May 1995, Switzerland
Europa: Peace and Freedom
design: Hans Erni / embossed

66 years ago today, the first Atomic Bomb destroyed the city of Hiroshima and killed about 140 thousand people over the course of several months.  My family lived on the edge of the city in the shadow of a little hill and they were lucky to survive, but had to witness a huge number of tragic deaths.

I wanted to celebrate the anti nuclear power demonstration today in Japan, but it is unfortunate that it ended with several arrests in Tokyo.  In London today, 3 kilometers away from my studio, in Tottenham, there was a riot where a bus and a block of buildings were set on fire, and shops were looted.  We need love and peace, not violence and armed interventions…

p.s. The author of Europa stamps has told me about the designer of this stamp, Hans Erni.  He is now 102 years old and is still painting everyday!  How wonderful it is and his stamp designs.  I do love this subtle expression of peace and its sincere atmosphere – his background as an activist tells us about it.



追記:Eurpa stampsのユルゲンより、このデザイナーのことを教えてもらいました。この平和を願う真摯な雰囲気は、102歳の今も絵を描いている彼の政治的な活動家としての歴史を現しているようです。

girl scout 2 / ガールスカウト2

August 4, 2011


19 January 1957, Philippines
Girl Scout World Camp at Quezon City

The girl scouts movement started in Japan in 1920, but in the Philippines it started 63 years earlier, in 1857.  This clover leaf is the emblem of the girl scouts.  Simple and clean design, with four tents behind a silhouette of a girl, with a streak of cooking smoke… I get hungry somehow.

p.s. The Scouting Movement started 1907 – it seems the year 1857 on this stamps has nothing to do with the Scounting… a bit of mystery remains.



girl scout / ガールスカウト

August 3, 2011

26 July 1970, Japan
50th Anniversary of Girl Scouts Movement
design: Takao Yamanouchi

I didn’t know the three-fingered salute of girl scouts until seeing this stamp.  Always I admire cool girls who can make strong knots and make fire in the field with a practiced hand.  If I knew this uniform, I could have been a member straight away, too…