Archive for the 'United Kingdom' Category

freemen working

June 18, 2021


17 June 1986, United Kingdom
900th Anniversary of Domesday Book / Freemen working at Town Trade
design: Tayburn Design / illustrations: Magnus Lohkamp

In a Medieval town, there were many trades for everyday life – cloth, tools, house and architecture – and people who inherited or gained those specialist techniques were called “Freemen”. About 25% of population were those who did not produce food, but obtained food in exchange for their skills.

As a designer, I am interested in those people working with textile, metal, wood and stone ( and a dog pulling the carpenter’s clothes.. ), who made the townscape at that time.


布を染める人、大工らしい二人(& 服をひっぱる犬)そして石柱に彫刻している石工など、この切手の描く世界にとても惹かれます。


June 3, 2021


17 June 1986, United Kingdom
900th Anniversary of Domesday Book / Knight and Retainers
design: Tayburn Design / illustrations: Magnus Lohkamp

Farmers were able to grow crops because the land was protected by the lord, his knights and retainers… is this a correct depiction of that time? I have to read Medieval history, otherwise my knowledge is fragmented and it gives me one impression – dark! Well, that is quite opposite to this series of stamps.


table of the lord

May 17, 2021


17 June 1986, United Kingdom
900th Anniversary of Domesday Book / The Lord
design: Tayburn Design / illustrations: Magnus Lohkamp

My eyes are caught by the dog under the table with large bone in its mouth. This dinner scene is showing the wealth of a Lord in 11th century. Musicians and a fool are there to entertain his guests, including a monk with sandals.

I have been reading the history of Britain recently – well, 29 years has passed since I started to live in the UK, it might be good timing to know more and understand better about this society!



Ox plough

May 9, 2021


17 June 1986, United Kingdom
900th Anniversary of Domesday Book / The Peasants
design: Tayburn Design / illustrations: Magnus Lohkamp

The Domesday Book was a medieval census ordered by the King, William the Conqueror – and completed in 1086. This stamp shows that the majority of population (82%) in Britain at that time, the peasants or slaves, worked to produce food. Forests were cleared and plowed by Ox-power.

Illustrations on this series of stamps are nicely made in the manner of Medieval style – I thought the pictures were from the original book, but they weren’t!



What they eat

March 2, 2021


11 January 2005, United Kingdom
Farm Animals
illustration: Chris Wormell / design: Rose Design

Buttergate: Why are Canadians complaining about hard butter? – is an interesting topic about how food chain, environment and our everyday life are connected. Palm oil, one of the causes of massive deforestation, is given to cows more, to produce more milk under the pressure of recent shortage. And it is not only in Canada where cows are eating supplement with palm oil. Here in the UK, researchers are measuring cows burp to find out better formula to feed them, to reduce large source of methane. Already some researches show seaweeds might be the cure for the earth. It has started, but still long way to regulate it and spread to the rest of the world, I think.


Longhorn beetle

December 12, 2020


1 October 2020, United Kingdom
Brilliant Bugs / Longhorn beetle
design: Royal Mail Group / illustration: Richard Lewington
print process: Lithography

They have distinctive long antennae and over 26,000 species in the family are described… a lot! A wide variety of colours and patterns, as well as appearance of their antennae. Their larvae are often treated as pests, because they eat plants’ stems and tree trunks, but the grown ups are important pollinators. This is why leaving old or dead trees in your garden is encouraged recently.


Elephant Hawk-moth

December 10, 2020


1 October 2020, United Kingdom
Brilliant Bugs / Elephant Hawk-moth
design: Royal Mail Group / illustration: Richard Lewington
print process: Lithography

Because they are active during the night, we don’t really know that moths are important pollinators. This elegant pink guy has its name from the appearance of it’s caterpillar stage. I want to see that caterpillar in real!


Marmalade Hoverfly

December 6, 2020


1 October 2020, United Kingdom
Brilliant Bugs / Marmalade Hoverfly
design: Royal Mail Group / illustration: Richard Lewington
print process: Lithography

This one is a type of fly, which has two wings – and one of the important pollinators. It’s not only bees which help plants to grow and support our harvest. In addition to pollination, this type of fly eats sap-sucking Aphids, so it has other helpful uses.



November 22, 2020


18 August 2015, United Kingdom
Bees / Tending young
design: Interabang / illustration: Andy English

The famous hexagonal grids are private rooms for the bees’ young grubs – amazing efficiency using minimum material for the walls to make maximum space. Bees are geniuses and humans borrow the honeycomb structure for many applications.


Honey making

November 21, 2020


18 August 2015, United Kingdom
Bees / Honey making
design: Interabang / illustration: Andy English

Of course the reason for human beings keeping bees is honey. In ancient time, honey was a very precious source of sweetness. This style of beehive is called WBC style, designed by William Broughton Carr in 1890, who was the editor of the “Bee Journal and Record”.


Waggle Dance

November 10, 2020


18 August 2015, United Kingdom
Bees / Waggle Dance
design: Interabang / illustration: Andy English

When bees find a good bunch of flowers, they communicate to each other with a waggle dance and teach others the location. That is amazing!



November 10, 2020


18 August 2015, United Kingdom
Bees / Pollination
design: Interabang / illustration: Andy English

I tend to forget the fact that if we don’t have insects to pollinate, there will be no harvest. This is why it’s vital to know the cause of the decreasing number of bees and restrict the chemicals that harm them. Wasps also play an important role in pollination. Although they give me pain sometimes, I should pay them some respect!


A Happy New Year! 新年おめでとうございます

January 1, 2020

25 January 1996, United Kingdom
Robert Burns – The Immortal Memory
design / Tayburn McIllroy Coates

A very happy New Year to you!  It’s the year of the mouse in Eastern zodiac – well, wikipedia says this is the rat year…  but I like smaller ones of that kind, so I call it the mouse year!

This is the first line of the poem To a Mouse written by Robert Burns, a Scottish poet, in the 18th century. I read the English translation, as I didn’t know what Wee or fleeket meant. If you hear the poem read by a Scotsman, this is how it sounds

I wish that 2020 will be a joyful, healthy and peaceful year for you all – I would learn from a mouse, being very small, but surviving and making a tiny difference to the world.




reflection of time / 時代を写す写真

February 28, 2018

9 September 2011, United Kingdom
Centenary of Aerial Post
Designed by Robert Maude and Sarah Davies

The history of photography started earlier than I thought – although it took some time for the technology of how to fix a captured image to arrive.

This photo was taken on 26 September 1911, when the first airmail was delivered.  People celebrated the big day and lots of photos were taken throughout the event.


写真が発明されてまもなく2世紀経つのですね。レンズを通して画像が結ばれることはもっと早くに発見されたけれど、それを定着させる技術に時間がかかった。21_21 design siteでは、時代を写してきた写真の展示「写真都市展」が始まっているようです。

cat’s shoulder / 猫の背中

January 30, 2018

13 February 2001, United Kingdom
Cats & Dogs
photographer: Henri Cartier-Bresson ( 1908-2004 )
design: Johnson Banks

With photography it is possible to capture a moment – yes that is why we cannot stop taking snaps.  Somehow Black & White shows a frozen moment clearer, I think.


Watch out for the dog / 犬に注意

January 21, 2018

13 February 2001, United Kingdom
Cats & Dogs
photographer: Richard Kalvar ( born 1944 )
design: Johnson Banks

My second stamp in the year of the dog is – a cat, sitting on a gate door.  Black & White photographs are not often used for stamps, but this series works nicely on colourful envelopes.


Happy New Year 2018 / 新年おめでとうございます

January 7, 2018

13 February 2001, United Kingdom
Cats & Dogs
photographer: Elliott Erwitt ( born 1928 )
design: Johnson Banks

I wish you all a happy new year in 2018!
The world is still in chaos – but let’s carry on our own creative year.

The Dog is the animal of the year in the Eastern zodiac – then I found that I have very few dog stamps.  Well, this one suits to the new year greetings the best…



upward arrows 3 / 上むき矢印 その3

December 27, 2017

14 November 1962, United Kingdom
National Productivity Year / Unified productivity
design: David Gentleman

Another Christmas coloured stamp on rising productivity – well, after 55 years it reminds us that whole world has to re-think about the pace of productivity and what is damaged since the industrial revolution.


upward arrows 2 / 上むき矢印 その2

December 12, 2017

14 November 1962, United Kingdom
National Productivity Year / Units of productivity
design: David Gentleman

N (national) and P (productivity) share an arrow and all stacked up units have upward arrows!  The year when The Beatles played their first session in the Abbey Road Studios, also the Rolling Stones made their debut in London.  The futuristic design of Concord was shown, British and French governments agreed to develop it together ( yes, it took off in 1973! ).

This stamp has an atmosphere of Christmas – of course, its colours.



bionic hand / 生体工学の手

March 30, 2017

19 February 2015, United Kingdom
Inventive Britaini-LIMB
inventor:  David Gow, stamp design: GBH

I noticed that I have been featuring hands on stamps over a year – well, long enough.  So, it is the last one for this time and an artificial hand.  This hand with lots of tiny motors is invented to help people without their own hand and operated by electrical pulses in the muscles of remaining part of the arm.

The stamp designer used its blueprint, and added its electrical movement of ‘wish’ – signals released from the user’s brain – which triggers the motors to move fingers.  It is not easy to explain such a complicated idea in the space of a stamp, but this is delivering its sense of motion and complexity.