Monday, August 02, 2010

Two FDC from Japan

Few weeks ago I have published here on my blog a nice example of bulls eye cancellation on a cover stamped with Hello Kitty stamps. I recently received this FDC with two stamps of the Hello Kitty issue and decided to share it with you.

If you are a fan of Hello Kitty and if you are interested by this cover, just let me know.
At the same time than the previous FDC I also received this one.

At first glance I thought that the FDC was franked with a full souvenir sheet. But after having looked for information about this stamp issue I realized that it is franked with the top half of a stamp sheet. Here is the full sheet as displayed on the Japan post website (hence the “specimen” marking).

This set is a set of prefecture stamps issued on the 14th of May 2010 for the Kochi prefecture to celebrate the 60th anniversary of local government law. In fact this set is part of a series where all prefectures issue a set of stamps to commemorate the same event.
Kochi prefecture is located on the south coast of Shikoku island. Kochi is also the name of its capital city. The map on the left side of the cover pictures the location of Kochi prefecture. There is a whale also on the cover because whale catching is very developed in this area.
The large stamp located on the top half of the sheet (and therefore on the cover) pictures Sakamoto Ryoma. Sakamoto Ryoma (1836-1867) was the leader of the movement to overthrow Togugawa shogunate, the feudal regime of Japan that existed from 1603 to 1868 (called the Edo period). Sakamot Ryoma is celebrated in various ways in the Kochi prefecture, for instance Kochi airport is named Kochi Rymoa Airport after him. His name has also been given to an asteroid (asteroid 2835 Ryoma)!

The design of this stamp has also been used to design commemorative yen coins.

The background of the sheet pictures Katsura-hama, a beach located in Kochi.

I take the opportunity of this post to call from some help. I’m always puzzled with cancellation on Japanese cover: I’m never able to understand the date. Can somebody explain me how dates should be read on such cover?

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