This article first appeared in an English journal The Postage Stamp at the beginning of the First World War (5 September 1914). It should be of interest to all those interested in Japanese philately.
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“A Japanese member of the Junior Philatelic Society. Mr. Meguro Kimura of Tokyo, sends us the first number of the first exclusively philatelic journal published in Japan. It is under his editorship and called ‘The Yuraku,’ which is Japanese for ‘The Stamp Lover.’ It is the organ of the “Yurakukai’ or ‘Stamp Lovers Society.’
The magazine is a well-printed book of 32 pages (Vol.I. No.1. Tokyo: 16th July, 1914), but unfortunately for us its contents are almost entirely in Japanese, though there is a pleasant little introductory articlette in English, which, as it explains the objects of the Yurakukai and the Yuraku, we are printing below:
‘Although stamp collecting as an art or hobby begun in Europe soon after the introduction of the first adhesives in 1840 in Great Britain and attained its present popularity many years ago, in almost every civilised country, this pleasant and interesting hobby was until quite recently, but little known in this country. True, dealers in postage stamps have already been with us, but they were supported chiefly by foreign clients. A small number of collectors have also existed, but they were silent enthusiasts who worked for their own amusement.
‘It is now about two years since that a few well-known philatelists and dealers of Tokyo met and formed societies in other countries, and this society has the title of The Yurakukai,’ or the Stamps Lovers’ Society, and is the first society of its kind established in Japan. At present the number is not large, but there is every prospect of the membership increasing steadily. Meetings are held monthly, on the 16th of each month.
‘With the view of encouraging the hobby of stamp collecting in Japan, this society decided to publish a monthly journal devoted exclusively to subjects relating to philately, and the first number is presented herewith. The Yurakukai has thus the distinction of being the first society and the Yuraku the first journal in Japan devoted exclusively to philately.
The first number contains, besides the chronicle of the new issues of 1914, many interesting articles, such as ‘About the Conference of the Postal Union,’ by Mr. T. Hibata, of the Postal Museum of the Department of Communications; ‘On Fake Chinese Republic Overprints of the Provisional Issues of China, 1912,’ by Mr. T. Shibata; ‘On ‘On Stamp Collecting,’ by Mr. H. Kasai; ‘History of the Postage Stamps of Japan,’ and ‘On the Current Postage Stamps of Japan,’ by the writer, etc.
‘It is hoped in the near future to include an English section in the journal, so that a large number of readers abroad may be counted upon.
‘May this journal receive the support of philatelic circles, and develop, at no distant date, into one of the favourite periodicals of both the old and the young philatelists of Japan.