Friday, December 17, 2010

illustration friday (mail)

This is not really an etegami, but it *is* an image accompanied by words, and it certainly fits the new Illustration Friday theme. I did a series of Japanese Mail Collection Box collages to send to Postcrossers a couple years ago, and this is one of them.

It shows the kind of mail box that was used when I was growing up, and the shape of it is very dear to my heart. The modern ones are just a rectangular box on a pedestal (blah).

One of the memories from my childhood that I treasure, is of my father teaching me how to collect stamps. Now that I have trouble walking, and rarely leave the house, exchanging mailart is one way for me to travel the world. Stamps are little windows into new landscapes, rare creatures, and unfamiliar history. The canceled stamps I used for this piece are ones I collected over forty years ago. They depict national parks and nature reserves from all over Japan.


  1. You know, I think the people who do the art for stamps probably bring more pleasure to people than the 'real' artists hanging on gallery walls...a radical idea but I am feeling a bit radical tonight , love the old box. We used to have cast iron red ones too but they have been replaced with a kind of sixties box on a stick!
    Happy Christmas Debbie, stay genki. :)

  2. That old mail box is cute I have see it in some places!
    I like your memories, are words carried by the wind!
    Happy Christmas!!!

  3. The old stamps are beautiful, what a great collection! Happy Holidays!

  4. Love this collection of stamps and the old mailbox! Come to think of it, they (mailboxes) seem to be disappearing, even here in the US. And you are absolutely right in appreciating mail as a means to "travel." Sending you a little holiday cheer from across the Pacific! :o)

  5. I have the memory that the Japanese Mail System was exceptionally good. I used to receive two deliveries per day (morning and evening) and Saturday delivery. I loved "Hu mi no hi" as well. Good and old days:)

    Happy Holidays!

  6. What a beautiful card! I hadn't heard of this artform before - it's lovely!


  7. Really cool post! <- see what I did there?

  8. Debbie, I agree with you about the artists of stamps. Wish our country would permit more art on our stamps. I used to purchase bags of canceled stamps whenever I traveled to Japan, but in the last 3 years they do not seem to be available for the general public to purchase. Do you know where I can buy them when I come to Japan? I wonder just what they decided to do with them??? How do you get yours these days?

  9. Thanks for all your great comments and for the holiday greetings.

    @Gary, yes, I see what you did. : )

    @Linda, I didn't realize canceled stamps were that hard to get these days. I'm still using the ones I collected as a child. Once in a while I notice an interesting stamp on mail I receive, and I cut it out for future art use.