I am a Japanese stamp collector based in London.  My profession is design – I design furniture, household products, lighting, interior and exhibitions.  TNA Design Studio


< Why I collect stamps >

Postage stamps are functional items for document delivery, and sometimes they make me smile – when I feel the passion of the designer, engraver or printer.  Stamps reflect an atmosphere of the time, economy and politics of the country.  I see those processes through my profession – so, I am interested in the world behind stamps.


< How I started >

In my childhood I often saw my mother cutting envelopes to collect used stamps.  There were always red circles on her calendar, noting ‘new stamp release’.  When I left home for study, she regularly sent me letters with her favorite stamps on, and she continued when I started to live in London.

British stamp design got me into this hobby and when foreign friends from college returned to their countries and started to send me cards, I discovered a wider world of stamps.

I inherited my mother’s collection in 1999 – Japanese mint stamps from the 1960’s plus two shoe-boxes full of used, non-removed stamps.  Shortly after I became a subscriber of Royal Mail stamps and started to visit stamp shops in foreign cities.  Ten years later, I started to sort out my mother’s collection.  When I looked at partly assembled files and bags of used stamps, I recognised that I am a Stamp Collector!  Then I started this blog in summer 2009.


< collecting themes >

My collecting themes have been changing from time to time.

By my profession, I am interested in design generally.  As a weekend cyclist, I cannot resist collecting bicycle and cycling stamps, as well as road safety and environmental issues.  And more and more I want to know what I have been eating – so, agriculture and fishing are coming in, as well as forest management and weather…


Since I started this blog, it guided me to know what kind of stamps I am most attracted to, and why.  I have surprised myself that I have not lost interest in them after 12 years and 700 posts – so, I have renewed the appearance of this blog, and added a category of selling stamps on eBay, which I started during the pandemic lock-down.

I hope you find some joy from this blog, too.


Tomoko Azumi / summer 2021

31 thoughts on “about well centred

  1. Dear Tomoko Azumi:

    I suggest you a link exchange.
    I just add a link to your blog in my personal website.

    My website’s basic facts:

    Title: Encyclopaedia Philatelica
    URL: http://www.encyclopaediaphilatelica.net
    Multilingual encyclopedia composed around four sections: personages, fauna, flora and geographia. Image gallery about iconography, genealogy, history, art and taxonomy.

    Thank you in advance and greetings.

    Jaume Gorriz

  2. Hello, I am new here. Just randomly found you as I was searching for some ways to exchange stamps. I am small collector only. Hope to exchange with you in the near future.

  3. Hi Tomoko, I love the stamps that you have displayed especially, racket sports, first silhouette, vaulting and arches, season of fish, shrimp, prawn or lobster? Do you use software to organize your collection? I would be very interested in your thoughts as we have just created released our own stamp collecting software: http://bee-software.net/collector-software/stamps/

  4. ひょんなことから、貴殿の切手ページを発見! 当方グラフィック・デザイナー、67歳、千葉市在住、自宅は父が開局した郵便局です。日本の切手には、知性がないなー、と何となく感じていました。UKのレコードの切手なんか、スゴイです。そして、貴殿の解説も気が効いていて、いいです。当方、現在、博覧会メダルのデザイン解説を執筆中、大いに参考になります。これからも、よろしく。

    1. コメントありがとうございます。楽しんでいただいて、とても嬉しいです。日本の切手は知性はあるけど、絞り込みがうまく出来てないのだと思います。最近のものからも、シンプルで素敵なのを選んで載せていきたいと思っています。


  5. What a beautiful website Tomoko! I too am a graphic designer and bike enthusiast. I’ll put a link to your blog on my Velo-Retro.com website links page.

    Best regards,

    1. Thank you, Chuck. I am receiving visitors via your web site!! I am thinking to make link for my favourite website, other than stamp website.

    1. Hi Sulistyo

      Thank you for your comment and the link. I made your blog linked mine, too.

      I have never explore Indonesian stamps – will be able to do it now!


  6. Hello Tomoki-san,
    I found your blog while searching for info on Italian furniture designs depicted on Italian stamps in 2000. After that, I back-read some of your posts and, I have to say, that I truly enjoyed reading them. I linked your blog to mine, I hope you won’t mind, so that I could easily visit your site.

    I hope you are having a great Sunday.
    Best regards from Cambodia.


  7. Hi Tomoko,
    Last time I visited my family house in Syndey, I also went through my stamp collection, which also includes my father’s childhood collection.

    the collection is rather interesting as it dates well before the revolution in iran, with some stamps dating back to the 20’s and 30’s, and then from when I took over collecting from the mid-80s in the heat of propoganda. politics aside, the artwork, motifs, designs are spectacular.
    The collection also includes lots of foreign stamps from the 50s up to the 80s, including some Japanese.

    Maybe I will bring them to London next time!


    1. hi Bahbak
      How are you? Looking forward to see your collection when you bring them to London. I am curious about propaganda design, which are often very strong message carrier.
      Hope to see you soon.

  8. Hello,
    I have recently started a new blog http://everydaypeopleoftheworld.wordpress.com/ and having read your blog I think that you are someone who would be excellent to feature.
    The aim behind this site as a result is to conduct a short interview with a variety of people to show people throughout the world’s hopes, fears, loves and hates. Who are these 7-billion people who inhabit this rock going round the sun? What do we all have in common? What difficulties can we all face together?
    In my simple mind, the more we learn about each other, the more we highlight that we’re all just people then the less chance there is that we’ll turn guns and words of hate upon on another. It’s a simple dream, but we have a lot of people so let’s get started………
    If you’d like to feature on the site, then please get in touch via the contact page.’
    Do you think this is something you or anyone you know would be interested in? The idea is not for profit in anyway, the simple aim is to break some stigma and stereotypes.
    Many thanks for reading
    Claire Allen

    1. Hello, Claire.
      Thank you for your contact and introduction of your blog. Very good concept of your blog. At the moment I am a bit rushing off to my summer travel and won’t have relaxed time right now, but will be able to join you in the near future, I think. Keep in touch and I will follow your blog to see the progress.

      All the best


  9. Dear Tomoko Azumi:

    I request you for a link exchange.
    I just add a link to your blog in my blogger website.

    My website’s basic facts:

    Title: Watercraft Philatelic Stamps Gallery
    URL: http://www.stampinformation.blogspot.com/
    SHIP STAMP – Watercraft Philatelic Stamps Gallery.

    Thank you in advance and greetings of the New Year

  10. Hello Tomoko,
    You have a wonderful stamp blog.
    Now that I know it is here I will visit often!
    If you have time, check out my stamp of the week at praire-beacon.com

    Happy Collecting !

  11. Hello weekend cyclist,

    Interesting how you present the stamps on a piece of grey cardboard. Your personal remarks from the view of a designer are great.

    I would like to invite you to visit my little website BICYCLE PHILATELY: https://www.bicyclestamps.de/

    After registering (and login) you have access to the free online catalog – for application just send an email to one of the email addresses you find on the website.

    To find bicycle stamps of your favorite categories just type the following chapter codes into the search function:
    “9.1.0” or “9.1.1” or “9.2.0” or “9.3.0” (road safety)
    “8.1.0” or “8.1.1” (environmental issues)

    Have fun
    Arnoldt Rehm

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