Archive for August, 2013

staying cool / 納涼図

August 23, 2013

*exch. 061

3 March 1978, Japan
Staying Cool under the arbour of evening glory
by Kusumi Morikage  (c. 1620–1690)
2nd National Treasure Series
layout: Saburo Watanabe

In the past at the height of summer, Japanese went outdoors to enjoy the cool air.  This is no longer possible, as no cool air is breezing through town since the exhaust from the air conditioners are out onto the streets.

This painting is regarded as the most subtle national treasure and it depicts a family sitting under a trellis.  The original shows that someone added the Yukata on top of husband’s body, but the wife was left as she was.  It is interesting to know that the female topless was fine at that time.

第2次国宝シリーズ 第8集




backstroke / 背泳

August 20, 2013

1965 Mali
African Games at Brazzaville

One more swimming stamp from Republic of Mali, issued for a celebration of African Games in the capital of Congo.  Another simple intaglio stamp with vivid colours and dynamic movement.


beach holidays / 海の夏休み

August 17, 2013

7 March 1957, Canada
Canada – All Seasons Playground
designer: Laurence Hyde / engraver: Yves Baril

Another visual chill-out from Canada, where I found many cool stamps are from.  The girl is having great time in the water!


I like these crisply engraved single coloured stamps with geometrical expression of water.

designed by Laurence Hyde / engraved by Silas Robert Allen



ocean mammals / 海のほ乳類

August 16, 2013

13 April 2010, United Kingdom
Action for British Mammals
design: Jason Godfrey
photograph: Thomas Haidar for Sperm whale, Brandon Cole for Humpback whale

I hear from Japan that the temperature and humidity are on their maximum, people are experiencing the extreme summer.  It seems similar or even hotter in South Korea.  How about where you are?

These stamps are for visual chill-out – huge animals living in British seas.  I am strongly against Japanese ‘Research’ Whaling, by the way.



native animals / もともといた動物たち

August 13, 2013

13 April 2010, United Kingdom
Action for British Mammals
design: Jason Godfrey
photograph: Laurie Cambell for hedgehog, Paul Hobson for polecat

I found the British Wildlife Centre while searching about the Otter.  Hedgehog and Polecat, two animals on today’s stamps are found at this centre, too.  I learned that they are both native to Britain.

It is interesting that you can join the photographic workshops at this Centre.  You may need special techniques to capture animals in photography – these two stamps feature nice faces.  The Hedgehog is surprised by sunlight and the Polecat looks determined.

カワウソのことを調べていて見つけた「British Wildlife Centre」には、この動物たちもいるようです。センターのHPでは、イギリスに今いる動物たちが、もとからいたのか持ち込まれたのかを知ることができます。今日の2枚のハリネズミヨーロッパイタチは原生種でした。


otter / カワウソ

August 12, 2013

13 April 2010, United Kingdom
Action for British Mammals
design: Jason Godfrey / photograph: Paul Hobson

In Britain the Otter was on the verge of extinction about 30 years ago.  After the harmful pesticides were regulated and rivers became cleaner, they are back.  As they live far from towns and their activities start around sunset, we still don’t see them much.

This stamp is issued for the International Year of Biodiversity, one of a set which is featuring rather unfamiliar animals in Britain.  Royal Mail is good on photographic stamps and this series is well executed, showing great details of whiskers and the stream of water.