This page includes The Topic-Corner columns from the 2000 issues of Across the Fence Post.
A Green Bay Philatelic Society Way-out Topical Contest entry
An annual meeting activity for the Green Bay Philatelic Society is its Way-out Topical Contest. Members are asked to bring in a one-page display of at least six but no more than 12 different stamps. Each entry must have an appropriate title and the stamps must depict or include a common topic that is consistent with the title.
Members inspect the creativity of their colleagues and cast ballots for their favorite entries. The club offers cash prizes: $5 for first place, $3 for second place, and $2 for third place.
Ken Coakley won the 1999 contest with his entry reproduced below. Upon request, he sent photocopies of some of his other very clever prize-winning entries, which will be published in "Topic Corner" from time to time. •
February issue No column this issue
March issue No column this issue
April issue No column this issue
May/June issue No column this issue
July/August issue No column this issue
September issue No column this issue
October issue No column this issue
The Japanese Sense of Beauty - in Stamps
By MajyAnn Bowman Waukesha County Philatelic Society
In late 1989, Mekeel's Weekly Stamp News had a contest to list American stamps that relate to Japanese themes. The prize was 126 stamps and 29 souvenir sheets - a Japanese art mini-omnibus donated by the Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corp. I was the lucky recipient!
The stamps arrived in a little green stock book with the philatelic material neatly arranged on the black pages. At the time, I looked at the collection, vowed not to integrate it into other stamp albums around the house, and then placed it on a shelf for safe keeping.
I recently came across my winnings and decided to examine the material a little closer. Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Grenada Grenadines, Grenadines of St. Vincent, Lesotho, Maldives, Sierra Leone, St. Vincent, and Uganda all issued sets of eight stamps and two souvenir sheets. Sierra Leone also released a second and final set of 30 stamps and two souvenir sheets. Concluding the collection were single souvenir sheets issued by the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau.
This art mini-omnibus was issued in memoriam of Emperor Hirohito (1901-89). Examining these art-related stamps shows the creative energy of the Japanese artists who have helped me to enter the lives, cultures and worlds of their own peoples.
In my research, I came across these words from the Introduction to "The Heritage of Japanese Art."
"Japanese art may be regarded as an exquisite flower on a branch of the giant tree of Oriental culture, whose roots have spread
throughout the vast Asian continent. In many aspects, Japanese art may be unique since it is a reflection of how the Japanese people feel in everyday life, coupled with a sense of form and an aesthetic sensitivity that developed in a country characterized by seasonal changes.
"A review of Japanese history reveals that Japan was constantly influenced by new cultures from Asia, and these were readily adopted and assimilated by the Japanese people through their keen sensibility to beauty, and developed into a peculiarly Japanese form."
Many people begin their topical collecting interests based on some omnibus issue. For the beginning collector, an omnibus issue is an issue released by several postal administrations celebrating a common theme. If your collecting specialty was inspired by an omnibus issue, I'd like to hear from you. Write today! •
December issue No column this issue
Latest update: June 14, 2005