On March 31, 2011 Japan Post issued a sheet of ten 50 yen postage stamps and a sheet of ten 80 yen postage stamps celebrating The World of Peter Rabbit. The stamps commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Japanese-language publication of Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and include pictures of favorite characters and scenes from the twenty-three stories in The World of Peter Rabbit series.
Peter Rabbit, beloved all over the world, has been translated into 35 languages and sold in over 117 countries. And none of the countries is more enthusiastic about the mischievous little bunny than Japan. In addition to loving the characters and reading their stories in Japanese, young Japanese children use English versions of Peter Rabbit books to learn English.
Every year thousands of Japanese tourists visit Hill Top Farm, Beatrix Potter's home in the Lake District of England. Nearly a quarter of the 80,000 visitors to the site are from Japan. For those who can't travel so far, Tokyo has a chain of Peter Rabbit Juice Bars and a re-creation of Hill Top Farm.
Beatrix Potter was born to a life of relative privilege in London, England in 1866. In addition to her work in children's literature, her legacy includes land conservation and scientific illustration. The influences on her stories and the accompanying illustrations were broad, including folk tales, bible stories, and the children's books of her own youth. Her animal characters and the timeless fantasy world they occupy reflect her own love of pets and an enchantment with the English countryside where she lived out her adult life.
Potter's artistic talents were apparent early in her life and as a young woman her illustrations were published on Christmas cards and in books of verses by other authors. Her earliest books and illustrations, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin and The Tailor of Gloucester, were originally conceived in a series of illustrated letters she would send to the children of her former governess and lifelong friend Annie Carter Moore. Potter was a savvy business woman and in many ways ahead of her time. She expanded the Peter Rabbit franchise with merchandising that included a Peter Rabbit doll, a tea set, a board game and more. Her wealth from these endeavors gave her independence from her parents and allowed her to live comfortably with her husband William Heelis at Hill Top raising livestock and championing conservation.
The twenty stamps making up the series depict some of Potter's most memorable and beloved scenes and characters. In addition to Peter, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Mr. McGregor, you'll find the mouse from The Tailor of Gloucester, Benjamin Bunny, Pigling Bland, Old Mr. Brown, Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, Jemima Puddle-duck, and Tom Kitten.
Owls of Taiwan Stamp Issue of 2012
Released June 6, 2012 this attractive four stamp set features native Taiwan owls.
Royal Mail Stamps Celebrate Works of Charles Dickens
Celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, on June 19, 2012 the British Royal Mail issued ten stamps along with other philatelic items featuring some of his best known characters.
Norway Celebrates 100 Years of Aviation
To mark the occasion of the centennial of Norwegian aviation, Norway Post issued a three stamp set on May 18, 2012. The stamps picture various aircraft that have figured in the country's aviation history.
French Art Stamp Features American Painter Edward Hopper
Famous Edward Hopper painting Morning Sun is part of La Poste's long running Musee Imaginaire art stamp series.
United States Dogs at Work Issue Features Service Animals
The United States Postal Service honored the faithful dogs that work with and for their human friends with a set of four 65-cent stamps featuring a seeing-eye guide dog, a therapy dog, a tracking dog, and a search and rescue dog.
Tarzan Stamp a Tribute to Edgar Rice Burroughs' Legacy
Tarzan of the Apes is featured on this 2012 US commemorative stamp honoring author Edgar Rice Burroughs. For Burroughs fans, the stamp was a long time coming. The stamp, associated cancels, first day covers, and other philatelic products, join a great heritage of Tarzan collectibles.