Japan Furusato Matsuri Stamps

Japan Furusato Matsuri stamps (祭: ma-tsu-ri) or hometown festivals series stamps are part of the hometown or prefecture stamps series of the Japan postal service.


Japan Furusato Matsuri Stamps - 'Osaka Tenjin Matsuri'

The hometown festival series No. 8 is a fine example of Japan furusato matsuri stamps. The design is based on the Osaka Tenjin Matsuri.

With a history of more than 1,000 years, the Tenjin festival is one of the three greatest festival in Japan. It is also the world's largest boat festival.

A summer festival dedicated to the patron god of learning and art, it features a 3,000 people land procession with portable shrines, a 100 illuminated boats procession, and evening fireworks.

The Tenjin Matsuri stamp sheet exquisitely portrays this festival in vivid colors and details.

The top of the stamp sheet reads:

ふるさとの祭り(fu-ru-sa-to no ma-tsu-ri) which means hometown festival.

Underneath, it reads:

第8集 天神祭 大阪府 which means No.8 Series Tenjin Festival Osaka Prefecture.


The No. 8 Japan furusato matsuri stamps series was issued on June 6, 2012 (80,000 sheets issued). The stamp sheet includes 10 individual postage stamps and uses a five color offset print.


Price: US$ 12.90 (incl. shipping) 

The image on the left is only partial and doesn't show all 10 postage stamps on the stamp sheet.


Japan Furusato Matsuri Stamps - 'Aomori Nebuta Festival'

Another beautifully designed stamp sheet in the hometown festival series is the No. 7 Aomori Nebuta Matsuri stamp. The design is based on the famous Aomori Nebuta festival.

The Nebuta festival is held on an annual basis in Aomori, Aomori Prefecture, from August 2 to 7.

The word 'nebuta' refers to the float of a brave warrior figure which is carried through the city center.

A Japanese summer festival, it is the most popular among all of Japan's nebuta festivals and was designated an important folk cultural property in 1980.

Besides the extravagant illuminated floats on display, the festival features dancers wearing a unique costume called 'haneto' dancing around to the rythmic tune of the chant 'rassera.'

The dancers can be nicely seen on the matsuri stamp sheet to the left.

A fireworks show is held on the evening of the final day while the floats are carried into the sea.

The festival is said to have originated from the flutes and drums a local Shogun used to attract the attention of the enemy during a battle.


The No. 7 Japan furusato matsuri stamps series was issued on August 2, 2011 (100,000 sheets issued).

The stamp sheet includes 10 individual postage stamps and uses a five color offset print.


The image on the left is only partial and doesn't show all 10 postage stamps on the stamp sheet.


Price: US$ 12.90 (incl. shipping) 


Japan Furusato Matsuri Stamps - 'Hakata Dontaku Festival'

The Hakata Dontaku Festival is featured on the No. 6 furusato matsuri stamp sheet series.

The Hakata Dontaku Festival is held annually in Hakata, Fukuoka Prefecture from May 3-4.

The word 'dontaku' is derived from the Dutch word 'Zondag' meaning Sunday or Holiday.

The Dontaku matsuri started in 1179 originally as a new year performance. In the Edo period, it evolved into a parade headed by people dressed up as the three auspicious gods of good fortune when visits were paid to the Lord of the Fukuoka castle.

The 'gods' were followed by young children who danced to a chant called 'iitate.'

The activities can be nicely seen on the festival stamp sheet.

Today the official name has changed to Hakata Dontaku Port Festival.

Around 12,000 people belonging to 120 groups participate in the Dontaku parade. Some of these groups use traditional Japanese instruments to perform the folk melody.

In addition, 16,000 dancers, singers, and other performers are featured on specially built stages. Closing out the two days festival is a gala display of fireworks.


The No. 7 Japan furusato matsuri stamps series was issued on April 4, 2011 (800,000 sheets issued).

The stamp sheet includes 10 individual postage stamps and uses a five color offset print.

The image on the left is only partial and doesn't show all 10 postage stamps on the stamp sheet.

CURRENTLY SOLD OUT


Japan Furusato Matsuri Stamps - 'Tohoku No Matsuri'

This Japan furusato festival stamp sheet features a collection of matsuri stamps for the for biggest festivals in Tohoku. The Tohoku region represents the northern part of Japan's main island Honshu.

The stamp sheet includes a representative stamp for the Aomori Nebuta Festival, one for the Akita Kanto Festival, one for the Yamagata Hanagasa festival, and lastly one for the Miyagi Sendai Tanabata Festival.

The first stamp depicts an illuminated float used in the Aomori Nebuta Festival (see No. 7 series above for details)


The second stamp represents the Akita Kanto Festival held between August 3-6 and dating back 350 years ago. It has been designated an important folk cultural property. The festival is dedicated to the gods and asks for an abundant grain harvest. During the festival, up to 1.3 million people throng the city streets. The Kanto festival features participants who balance 15 meter poles with up to 230 paper lanterns on their foreheads, chins, shoulders, or palms. The word Kanto refers to an array of candle-lit lanterns on a bamboo frame. The matsuri stamp nicely shows one of the festival performers balancing a Kanto.

Next is the Yamagata Hanagasa Festival stamp. The festival was first held in 1964. The stamps depicts a dancer performing with a hanagasa, a hat decorated with artificial flowers. Around 10,000 dancers wearing the same costume and holding hanagasa hats adorned with safflowers parade through the main streets. The parade is led by lavish festival floats.

The fourth and last furusato matsuri stamp on this sheet shows the Sendai Tanabata Festival. Held from August 6-8 every year, it is a star festival originating in China. The word tanabata means 'evening of the seventh.' It celebrates the meeting of deities represented by the stars Vega and Altair. According to legend, the milky way separates these lovers and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

Beautiful decorations of seven different kinds made with bamboo and Japanese paper called sasatake are put up everywhere. They consist of colored paper strips, paper kimonos, paper cranes, paper streamers, paper purses, etc.

The stamp illustrates such colorful paper sasatake.

Price: US$ 23.90 (incl. shipping) 


Japan Furusato Matsuri Stamps - 'Shonan Hiratsuka Matsuri'

Within the genre of Japan furusato matsuri stamps, there are also hometown festival stamps that feature a more artistic modern design. The Shonan Hiratsuka matsuri stamps are a good example for this.

The Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata festival in Hiratsuka city is held annually starting July 7 and lasts for four days. Besides tanabata it is also referred to as the star festival.

The Hiratsuka tanabata matsuri is an especially large-scale event with around 2,000,000 people in attendance each year, including local Japanese and foreign visitors.

This Japan furusato festival stamp was issued on April 6, 2012.

The main attraction of the festival are 3 meter long bamboo poles which are decorated with beautiful tanabata ornaments and colorful decorations.

The matsuri stamp on the left nicely depicts these lavishly decorated bamboo poles.

At night, all tanabata decorations are lit up giving the streets of Hiratsuka a romantic feel.

On the night of tanabata, the 7th of July, people write wishes on strips of paper with five colors. These then can be seen all along the street in between decorations.

The hometown festival stamp on the right shows such as scene.

Price (stamp sheet): US$ 17.50 (incl. shipping) 


There are many more beautifully designed Japan furusato matsuri stamps and we will bring them to you as soon as they become available again.

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