Sunday, December 28, 2008

FDC from Taiwan/FDC du Taiwan

Launch of the cross-strait mail links commemoratives postage label (ATM)/
Le lancement du courrier de trans-détroit relie le Timbre de distributeur commemoratives

Sunday, December 21, 2008

FDC from Hongkong/FDC du Hongkong

Hong Kong, China – Republic of Korea Joint Issue on Masks/
Timbre Emission commune Le Hong Kong- La République de la Corée:Les masques

"Staged folk dance is a unique performance genre with a long history. Its themes cover a wide spectrum of subjects ranging from people’s daily activities to myths and legends. While folk dances from different nations display a rich variety of styles because of differences in their historical and cultural backgrounds, they do share some common features. One example is the use of masks to highlight the identity or character of individual dancers. Hongkong Post and Korea Post jointly issue a set of two stamps on "Masks" to showcase the distinct folk dance masks of the two places. This marks the ninth joint stamp issue released by Hongkong Post with other postal administrations.

Mask from Hong Kong, China — Big Head Buddha Mask in Southern Lion Dance

There are different versions of the origin of Big Head Buddha, but most are associated with lions. In the Southern Lion Dance, the first one to appear in the show is the always cheerful Big Head Buddha. A fellow with a palm leaf fan in his hand, the Big Head acts in an amusing way to provoke the lion to perform a series of agile manoeuvres, enhancing the joyous festive mood. The Big Head also plays funny tricks on the lion to induce it to "Cai Qing" (Pick the Greens) or "Po Zhen" (Smash the Battle Line), a symbol of bringing "good luck" and "bumper crops" to all households.

Mask from Republic of Korea — Chwibari Mask of Bongsan Mask Dance Drama

The Bongsan Mask Dance Drama, designated the "Important Intangible Cultural Property No. 17 of Korea", is steeped in realism. Each mask used in a performance reveals the occupation and social status of a character. Through delightfully nimble movements and humorous presentation, the dancers satirise social ills or express the concerns and frustrations of ordinary people. Their performance gives the audience an opportunity to temporarily take their minds off their worries. The most famous folk dance form in Korea, the Bongsan Mask Dance Drama is frequently staged at home and abroad during seasonal festivals and celebrations for good harvests or marvellous feats, as well as ceremonies to welcome visiting dignitaries.

With two opposite face silhouettes as the backdrop, the souvenir sheet presents two masks — a Chinese mask of "Big Head Buddha" on the left and a Korean mask of "Bongsan Mask Dance Drama (Chwibari Mask)" on the right. The theme of the stamp issue is shown trilingually in Chinese, Korean and English. The vibrant colours and contrasting patterns add an intensity to the costumed images on the stamps."-Hong Kong Post

FDC from DPRK (North Korea)/FDC de Corée du Nord


"Two stamps showing posters were issued.
12 won stamp:
It vividly shoes the fact that there is nobady to win over the Korean People's Army which was developed into the invincible revolutionary strong army of Mt.Paektu under the wise leadership of Leader Kim Jong Il.
85 won stamp:
It shows well the validity and vitality of the policy of the Party on actively comtrubuting to the people's life by doing well the bean framing."-Korean Stamp Co.,

FDC from DPRK (North Korea)/FDC de Corée du Nord

50th anniversary of introduction of the universal secondary compulsory education system/
Le 50ème anniversaire d'introduction du système d'éducation obligatoire secondaire universel.

"A stamp was issue to mark the 50th anniversary of introduction of the universal secondary compulsory education system.
The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung regarded the education of the offsprings as an important undertaking which decides the prosperity and ruin of the country and saw to it that the decree of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on giving the compulsory secondary education to all the coming generations and on arranging the readliness of being capable of giving the technical compulsory education was adopted on October 2.Juche 47(1958).
The stamp shows the schoolchildren who are growing up safe and sound to be pillars in the building of the great prosperous and powerful nation. showing their talents to the heart's content under the wing of the party."-Korean Stamp Co.,

Saturday, December 13, 2008

FDC from Japan/FDC du Japon

New Year's Greeting Stamps for 2009/
Les Timbres de Salutation de Nouvel an pendant 2009

"The Chinese Zodiac is a 12 year cycle. Each year of the 12 year cycle is named after one of the original 12 animals. Each animal has a different personality and different characteristics. The animal is believed to be the main factor in each person's life that gives them their traits, success, and happiness in their lifetime.

The Chinese zodiac refers to a pure calendrical cycle; there are no equivalent constellations like those of the occidental zodiac. In imperial times there were astrologers who watched the sky for heavenly omens that would predict the future of the state, but this was a quite different practice of divination from the popular present-day methods.

The 12 zodiac animals:
1. Rat (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Water): Forthright, disciplined, systematic, meticulous, charismatic, hardworking, industrious, charming, eloquent, sociable, shrewd. Can be manipulative, vindictive, mendacious, venal, selfish, obstinate, critical, over-ambitious, ruthless, intolerant, scheming.
2. Ox (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Water): Dependable, calm, methodical, patient, hardworking, ambitious, conventional, steady, modest, logical, resolute, tenacious. Can be stubborn, narrow-minded, materialistic, rigid, demanding.
3. Tiger (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Wood): Unpredictable, rebellious, colourful, powerful, passionate, daring, impulsive, vigorous, stimulating, sincere, affectionate, humanitarian, generous. Can be restless, reckless, impatient, quick-tempered, obstinate, selfish.
4. Rabbit (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Wood): Gracious, kind, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, astute, compassionate, flexible. Can be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, lazy.
5. Dragon (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Wood): Magnanimous, stately, vigorous, strong, self-assured, proud, noble, direct, dignified, zealous, fiery, passionate, decisive, pioneering, ambitious, generous, loyal. Can be arrogant, imperious, tyrannical, demanding, eccentric, grandiloquent and extremely bombastic, prejudiced, dogmatic, over-bearing, violent, impetuous, brash.
6. Snake (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Fire): Deep thinker, wise, mystic, graceful, soft-spoken, sensual, creative, prudent, shrewd, ambitious, elegant, cautious, responsible, calm, strong, constant, purposeful. Can be loner, bad communicator, possessive, hedonistic, self-doubting, distrustful, mendacious.
7. Horse (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Fire): Cheerful, popular, quick-witted, changeable, earthy, perceptive, talkative, agile mentally and physically, magnetic, intelligent, astute, flexible, open-minded. Can be fickle, arrogant, anxious, rude, gullible, stubborn.
8. Ram (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Fire): Righteous, sincere, sympathetic, mild-mannered, shy, artistic, creative, gentle, compassionate, understanding, mothering, determined, peaceful, generous, seeks security. Can be moody, indecisive, over-passive, worrier, pessimistic, over-sensitive, complainer, wise.
9. Monkey (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Metal): Inventor, motivator, improviser, quick-witted, inquisitive, flexible, innovative, problem solver, self-assured, sociable, polite, dignified, competitive, objective, factual, intellectual. Can be egotistical, vain, selfish, reckless, snobbish, deceptive, cunning, jealous, suspicious.
10. Rooster (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Metal): Acute, neat, meticulous, organized, self-assured, decisive, conservative, critical, perfectionist, alert, zealous, practical, scientific, responsible. Can be over zealous and critical, puritanical, egotistical, abrasive, opinionated.
11. Dog (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Metal): Honest, intelligent, straightforward, loyal, sense of justice and fair play, attractive, amicable, unpretentious, sociable, open-minded, idealistic, moralistic, practical, affectionate, dogged. Can be cynical, lazy, cold, judgmental, pessimistic, worrier, stubborn, quarrelsome.
12. Pig (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Water): Honest, simple, gallant, sturdy, sociable, peace-loving, patient, loyal, hard-working, trusting, sincere, calm, understanding, thoughtful, scrupulous, passionate, intelligent. Can be naive, over-reliant, self-indulgent, gullible, fatalistic, materialistic."-wiki

FDC from Japan/FDC du Japon

1000th Anniversary of The Tale of Genji/
Le 1000ème Anniversaire du Dit du Genji

"The Tale of Genji (源氏物語, Genji Monogatari) is a classic work of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh century, around the peak of the Heian Period. It is sometimes called the world's first novel, the first modern novel, the first psychological novel, or the first novel to still be considered a classic, though this issue is a matter of debate (see Stature below.)

The first partial translation of Genji Monogatari into English was by Suematsu Kenchō. A free translation of all but one chapter was produced by Arthur Waley. Edward Seidensticker made the first complete translation into English, using a more literal method than Waley. The most recent English translation, by Royall Tyler (2001), also tries to be faithful to the original text. Diet member Marutei Tsurunen has also made a translation in Finnish."-Wiki

"Le Dit du Genji (源氏物語, genji monogatari) est une œuvre considérée comme majeure de la littérature japonaise du XIe siècle, attribué à Murasaki Shikibu. L'intrigue du livre se déroule pendant L'époque de Heian.

Le Genji est un fils d'empereur qui ne peut prétendre au trône. Il est donc à l'origine (源, gen) d'une nouvelle branche (氏, ji) impériale.

Le Dit du Genji, qui se présente comme un récit véridique (物語, monogatari), raconte la vie d'un de ces princes impériaux, d'une beauté extraordinaire, poète accompli et charmeur de femmes. Toutefois, bien que le roman soit présenté comme une histoire vraie, on pense généralement que Murasaki Shikibu s'est inspirée de Fujiwara no Michinaga (966 - 1028) un homme d'état réputé.

Il s'agit pour beaucoup du premier roman psychologique du monde. La caractère intemporel des relations humaines y est pour beaucoup et si les us et coutumes de la cour peuvent nous être étrangers, les vicissitudes que rencontrent les personnages sont bien plus familières. Par bien des aspects l'œuvre est une critique incisive et complète des mœurs décadentes de la cour de Heian mais avec un regard intérieur, intime car après tout l'auteur est elle-même un membre de la cour. Si on prend en compte la date de l'œuvre, les sujets abordés sont très en avance sur leur temps. Il y a là la femme bafouée, le mari jaloux, la courtisane, le séducteur impénitent, la fascination du pouvoir, les différentes classes sociales, l'argent.
Un des plus anciens manuscrits du roman, musée Gotō. Encre sur rouleau de papier XIIe siècle

Une des difficultés majeures de lecture réside dans le fait que les personnages (plus de deux cents) sont presque tous nommés uniquement par leur titre dans la Cour impériale. L'histoire durant plusieurs dizaines d'années, ils évoluent, et donc changent de titre. Les lecteurs et les traducteurs contemporains utilisent divers sobriquets pour suivre les nombreux personnages du roman."-Wiki

FDC from Japan/FDC du Japon

The 150th Anniversary of Keio University/
Le 150ème anniversaire de l'université de Keio

"Keio University (慶應義塾大学, Keiō Gijuku Daigaku) is a university located in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. It is one of the leading universities in Japan,similar to one of America's Ivy League institutions.Keio is the oldest private university in Japan established originally as a school for Western studies in 1858 in Edo (now Tokyo) by founder Fukuzawa Yukichi. Its baseball team plays in the Tokyo Big Six league.

Keio was founded in 1858 by Fukuzawa Yukichi, who had studied the Western educational system at Brown University in the United States. While Keiō's initial identity was that of a private school of Western studies, it expanded and established its first university faculty in 1890, and became known as an influential leader in Japanese higher education.

Rugby union was first introduced to Japanese students at Keio University by Edward Bramwell Clarke and Tanaka Ginnosuke. (The game had been played in the treaty ports of Yokohama and Kobe before that, but not between Japanese teams.)

The interest of Keio's students in baseball stretches back to the early years of the 20th century; and the history of exhibition games was reported internationally. In 1913, an American professional team made of players from the New York Giants and the Chicago White Sox played the Keio team in an exhibition game. In a 1932 exhibition game, the Keio team beat the University of Michigan team which was then touring Japan."-wiki

"L'Université Keiō ou Université Keiō Gijuku (慶應義塾大学 Keiō Gijuku Daigaku) est la plus ancienne et une des plus prestigieuses des institutions d'éducation supérieure du Japon. Elle fut fondée en 1858 par Yukichi Fukuzawa en tant qu'école privée d'études occidentales et ouvrit sa première faculté universitaire en 1890. Elle serait nommée d'après l'ère Keiō, qui précéda l'ère Meiji, de 1865 à 1868 (soit peu après la fondation de l'université).

Bien que Keiō fut la première école avancée du Japon, elle fut rapidement égalée par l'Université de Tōkyō, l'Université de Kyōto, e dû au fait que Fukuzawa était un adversaire des samourais qui avaient fondé le gouvernement oligarchique du Japon durant l'ère Meiji. L'Université Keiō est malgré tout toujours en compétition avec sa rivale, l'Université Waseda, qui est aussi une prestigieuse université privée au Japon. Parmi les anciens élèves emblématiques, on notera le Premier ministre japonais Jun'ichirō Koizumi.qui étaient aidées par l'État. Cela était en parti"-wiki