This Hyuga Monument stamp is one of the second Showa series of 1942-45 from Japan. The Showa dynasty under Emperor Hirohito was among the longest in Japanese history, from 1926 until 1989. Hyuga Monument was erected in 1940 as a commemoration for the 2600th anniversary of the legendary date of the founding of Japan. Hyuga Province (Miyazaki Prefecture after 1868) is the location of Mt. Takachiho to which the Sun Goddess's grandson Ninigi descended to initiate the founding of the Japanese Empire. Mythic Japan is the "Land of the Rising Sun," and Hyuga means "Sun-facing."
Designed by sculptor Jitsuzo Hinago, the monument is 140 feet high, surmounting a base of rocks collected from all over Japan and Germany, and from Japanese living in South America. The contours of a prehistoric shield are repeated 5 times on each side, and on the face 4 characters: "hakko ichiu" (8 directions, 1 roof). The slogan is attributed to Jimmu, the great-grandson of Ninigi, and the first emperor of Japan. In the propaganda of the war era, this slogan was used as a justification for conquest, bringing the 8 corners of the world under Japanese domination. After WWII the monument became the "Peace Tower."
A morale-boosting design competition for war stamps selected the winning design by Suzuki Senzo showing Mt. Fuji and Hyuga Monument, slightly modified by designer Kasori Teizo for the final version issued 1 October 1942. The view presented on the stamp is in point of fact an imaginary one, since Mount Fuji is eight hundred miles northeast of Hyuga.
Paper Type: Legion Mulberry White 38 [Utrecht 19118]
Paper Size: 9.75" x 13"
Image Size: 4" x 5"
Collage Stamp: 1942-45 Hyuga Monument #330
Edition Size: 50
Inks Used: Speedball water-soluble green : red [0.1]
Date cut: 12 August 1997
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