Do you remember the days when there was a counter in every Japanese department store where stampcould buy and sell ? What fun those days were! As a child, I often stopped at those counters on my way home from school. I would the stamps and imagine that I was taking a trip around the world.
I started collecting postage stamps when I was quite young. My father encouraged it as both a hobby and a smart. He received letters from all over the world. So our house was always full of interesting stamps. I believed that my stamp collection would be when I grew up.
For most of my life, I was only interested in colorful stamps of art or nature. Ithe "head stamps" — those little stamps with heads of national leaders or people from history. Head stamps bored me.
But that changed a few years ago, when I gave up my unrealistic dream offrom stamps. I decided to the unused stamps from my collection and stick them on letters and packages that I mailed to friends and family.
As I did this, I began to pay more attention to head stamps. I searched online for the backgrounds of the stamps. And I learned that many of the people pictured in them hadstories.
There wasreason these people were celebrated on postage stamps. Many of them shaped world history. Many of them left famous quotes that encouraged generations of people. Many of them enriched the arts, music, literature, science and .
I was inspired to celebrate these heads in my own way. Iused head stamps by making "Stamp People" postcard . I added , slightly bodies to the heads with colorful paper from old magazines. In the background of each card, I wrote words that suited the person in the stamp.
Making Stamp People is a great way to learn history. It is much more fun thannames and dates from textbooks. This discovery is one of the best things that has happened to me this year.
At first I used the heads of famous people like Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein and. When I familiar heads, I researched the heads that I did not . This is how I learned about Hisoka Maejima, the Meiji Era of Japan Post; Mary Lyon, the American pioneer of women's education; and , France's symbol of freedom.
If you are curious, you can see my Stamp People on Instagram by searching for dosankodebbie.
The Japan Times ST: November 10, 2017