Was this the most adorable stamp issue of 2015?
Apparently on November 24, Traditional Japanese Food Day is a thing, and this issue depicted a variety of family favourites served up at the kitchen table. You have to love it. YOU HAVE TO.
Because, as if these morsels of tempura and egg custard aren’t delicious enough already, the design features an added twist that makes this particular Japanese issue the Japanesiest of them all. Can you spot it?
Here’s a clue: if you ate everything on this table, you’d still be hungry, plus your teeth would be ground to bits and you’d probably be suffering excruciating digestive pain.
The answer is: this food is not real and it’s not full-size. Designer Rika Hoshiyama has photographed tiny miniatures fashioned out of paper clay. This is in keeping with that other Japanese tradition, that of making something, and then making it again, only smaller.
Look again. Isn’t it all just utterly gorgeous? It’s like the fake food you see in the windows of sushi restaurants, with udon noodles being suspended in mid-air, being magically lifted by chopsticks held by an invisible hand. My favourite bits are the tiny blocks of tofu swimming in the miso.
The clues were there all along, of course. If they were full-size, those grains of rice would be the size of edamame beans. And the kenchinjiru stamp includes the tips of some real-life chopsticks, proving that it’s either a tiny bowl, or it’s a normal-sized meal being eaten by a giant.
Being a lover of intricately tiny things, I have no hesitation in belatedly declaring this issue my Stamp(s) of the Day. Nice one, Japan Post.