Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Preparing for Asian Journey 2011 - Revisiting History through Chinese Postage Stamps of the 1920's
“The Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao-tze - Here is a sample from the 1920's of the postage stamps I collected, that allowed me to think about the ancient culture and people of China - Zhongguo = Middle Kingdom - Just like Minnesota being the center of "Turtle Island" As a boy, I was fascinated by the culture of China, and created a special collection. Now, as I envision a trip to Asia, discerning where to visit and for how long and with whom is a point of discernment. I went to my local AAA office and purchased books on travel in China and Japan, and plan to spend 3 weeks there, cultivating friendships on line and with Skype. Being a man of the 21st Century and looking for balance as a digestive health teacher and supporter of HIV preventive education for internationally, I look forward to seeing how safely I can travel. My experience, driving to the Soviet Union at age 24, and environmental activist will serve me well now. From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postage_stamps_and_postal_history_of_China
"The definitives of the "Junk issue" went on sale 5 May 1913, and continued in use into the 1930s. The low values featured a junk, while values from 15c to 50c showed a farmer reaping rice, while the dollar values depicted the three-part gateway to the Hall of Classics in Beijing. The series was first printed in London, then in Beijing from 1915; they can be distinguished by close examination." Here is the first commemorative issue "25th anniversary of the Chinese Post Office featured then president Xu Shichang in the centre, flanked by Premier Jing Yongbeng and Minister of Communication Ye Gongzuo" Yellow Green Grey and blue.
The Beijing Hall of Classics, and a "junk" - Chinese 船 ("boat, ship"), (Mandarin pinyin: chuán) with overprint, with Commemerative issued 1923-10-17 a set showing the Temple of Heaven commemorated the new constitution.
These colorful commemoratives captured my full imagination as a teen. Looking back at the era of the 1920's and the leadership of China that set the foundation for the split in 1949. From Wiki "On 1928-03-01 a set depicting Marshal of the Army and Navy Zhang Zuolin marked his assumption of that role. On 1929-04-18 Chiang Kai-shek makes a first appearance, commemorating the unification of China. Finally on 1929-05-30, two days before the event, four stamps showing Sun Yat Sen's mausoleum were issued to commemorate his state funeral." Sun Yat Sen, then on the regular issues below, starting in 1931, captured my interest as he was a "doctor". Not sure how the Chinese of today look back at these men and I still find the stamps evocative!