Last winter, while people in Japan were getting ready to send their nengajo (New Year greeting cards) to family and friends, Japan Post did something amazing. Instead of releasing just any ol’ stamp for the Year of the Sheep in 2015, they made what was obviously a continuation of the stamp from 12 years prior. You see, in 2003, there was a darling sheep knitting a scarf on one of their special stamps, and in 2015 that same sheep was proudly wearing the finished product.
The story was a nice, feel-good moment for many, and people starting wondering whether this was a one-time occurrence or if Japan Post was going to continue this “stamp story” two years in a row. We are happy to say that they appear to be starting a tradition, as the Year of the Monkey is also getting an adorable back-story!
The stamp from Japan Post in 2004 featured an adult monkey, comfortably soaking in an onsen. But there’s no scarf to finish or onsen to re-plumb here, so what changes will this monkey have gone through in the 12 elapsed years?
日本郵趣協会 (@kitteclub) October 05, 2015
How about the life-changing addition of a child? Bathing monkey becomes parent monkey as the two monkeys enjoy a revitalizing soak in an outdoor bath while ringing in the New Year; so adorable and heartwarming! Japan Post’s monkey seems to have gotten more done in these past 12 years than their sheep; the only reason it should take a sheep 12 whole years to knit a scarf is if it had to grow the wool herself, shear it off (tricky without thumbs) and spin it into yarn before she could keep knitting.
We definitely hope that this tradition continues forever and ever, and even though we haven’t made it to the end of the year yet, we already are wondering what the story for the Year of the Rooster might be in 2017.