Sunday, November 25, 2012

Japan : 67th National Sports Festival (Furusato Stamps)

These Japan commemorative stamps celebrate the 67th National Athletic Meet in Gifu Prefecture.
The National Sports Festival is the premier prefecture versus prefecture sports event in Japan. The abbreviated name is Kokutai which literally translates into ‘National Polity’ or ‘Fundamental Character of the Nation.’
Winners in each discipline are awarded the Emperor or Empress Cup.
The first Kokutai was held in 1946 with the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe being co-hosts.
Since then, the national sports festival has been held on an annual basis without interruption.
The last three Kokutai meets 64/65/66 were hosted by Niigata, Chiba, and Yamaguchi prefectures.
Yamaguchi Prefecture is hosting the event for the second time after 1965.
The Japan commemorative stamps on the left depict five athletic competitions:
Rhythmic Gymnastics
Field Hockey
The left and right hand side borders of these Japanese stamps show ‘Minamo,’ the games mascot character.

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