Issue Date: July 8, 2009
In 2009, as Canada celebrates the 80th anniversary of the establishment of its diplomatic presence in Japan, Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan will pay a visit to Canada. This visit is an important symbol of our solid and ever-growing relationship—a relationship founded on such shared values as freedom, democracy, open markets and good governance. The ties between Japan and Canada continue to grow as we cooperate on peace and security, enjoy strong trade and investment ties, and engage in numerous community and cultural exchanges.
This July, Canada Post will mark this anniversary and celebrate Their Majesties’ visit with a commemorative envelope. Designed by Céline Morisset, Manager of Graphic Design at Canada Post, the envelope showcases the richness of Japanese art and speaks to its welcome place in Canadian culture. It features cherry blossoms and Japanese calligraphy set against a kimono, the traditional clothing of Japan. Cherry blossoms, sakura in Japanese, are the flowers that grow on cherry trees. Over 200 cultivars of sakura are native to Japan, where they are considered omens of good fortune, a symbol of love, and an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life. “The design, with the vivid colours of the cherry blossom, imparts a sense of flamboyance amid tranquility,” Morisset explains.
A bonsai pine tree was used as the cancellation mark. An ancient horticultural art form practiced by the Japanese, bonsai involves growing miniature plants through the use of skilled pruning. “In Japan, the pine represents the spiritual culture of the ancients,” notes Morisset. On the preprinted stamp image, the Canadian and Japanese flags fly side by side against a bright blue sky. “This concept is symbolic of the strong relationship between the nations.”