October 23, 2011

0018 JAPAN (Chūgoku) - God-entertainment

Very few Europeans real understand Japanese people, even though many argue that. I recognize that not, and the way in which they have responded to disasters, whether historical or natural, always seemed to me a miracle. Even their art forms seem from another world, and in a sense they are. The postcard received from Ōsakikamijima (Arigatō, Aiko!), a town (and an island) located in Chūgoku region, Toyota District, Hiroshima Prefecture (western Honshū island), capture a scene of kagura (god-entertainment), a specific type of Shinto theatrical dance, once strictly a ceremonial art and today a living tradition of great diversity, practiced primarily in Shimane prefecture and in Hiroshima. As the most famous kabuki, kagura uses elaborated masks and sumptuous costumes and still take place every December in the Imperial Sanctuary, and at the Imperial harvest festival ceremonies.

Particular to this postcard is as well the position of the writing. I couldn’t tell if only this has this peculiar format or is the normal format for all the Japoneze postcards, because this is the first received by me therefrom. Well, if landscape postcards that I've seen until now should be rotated to the left to read the text on the back (as if you give a book page), on this should to rotate from the bottom up (as you read from a roll of paper).   

Overall, excellent postcard. Too bad that is printed on thin cardboard, only slightly thicker than regular paper for printers or copiers (so probably has no more than 120-140 g / sm). Spirit of the economy? Protection of the resources? I wonder how has reached in one peace on me. I will keep with great care.

About the stamps
The first stamp, depicting an Eastern Honeybee or Asiatic Honeybee (Apis cerana - Apidae) sucking nectar on a pink flower is part of a definitive series with insects:
13.01.1994 Skimmer (Orthetrum albistylum - Libellulidae) (9 JPY)
13.01.1994 Seven-spotted Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata - Coccinelidae) (18 JPY)
25.04.1994 Common Jay (Graphium doson - Papilionidae) (15 JPY)
28.11.1997 Flower Blue Chafer (Oxycwtonia jucunda - Scarabaeidae) (10 JPY)
28.11.1997 Asiatic Honeybee (Apis cerana - Apidae) (20 JPY) 
28.11.1997 Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas - Lycaenidae) (30 JPY)

The second stamp belongs to the seventh series of Furusato Stamps, who introduce various festivals. Festivals of the Hometown Series 7 (issued on August 2, 2011) depict the Aomori Nebuta in Aomori Prefecture, and contains three sets of two stamps (each with a value of 50 yen), with three subjects: Floats (detail), A float and Haneto dancers and A float and a festival music band. Stamp on my postcards is one of the second set.

sender: Aiko Mori (direct swap)
sent from Ōsakikamijima (Chūgoku / Japan), on 11.10.2011


  1. It is different than other postcards in respect to which way to turn to read it, because it is intended to be written on vertical, Japanese style.
    See the tiny red dots that go along .. well, horizontal writing? They're intended for the vertical writing, as separation between lines. As well, the seven squares which are now on the bottom right.. they're designed to enter the signs for the name and postal code of the county (in Japanese: ken) of destination.

    Oh, and it's recycled paper.

  2. Yes, I noticed the tiny red dots and especially the seven square on the right and I realized their purpose, but not about that I say. Able to write very well from top to bottom in the sense of the image, not vice versa.
    Yes, I realize and that is recycled paper, but that's not related to its thickness. A paper so thin is unlikely to reach on the destination, that's all.
    Can you tell me what is write on the front of postcard? It would be interesting to know.