Edition No. 25. Winter, 2000. Today is
 
JUDO POSTAGE STAMPS
NABEUL, TUNISIA


By: Pierre Burr


Following a request made in 1982 by the Fédération Française de Judo to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the creation of judo by Jigoro Kano, clubs had been asked to organise sports and cultural events. It occurred to me that we could use postage stamps to advertise our sport in a new way.

Having been a stamp collector for many years, I searched my files for anything that was related to judo. To begin with I put together pages of stamps and letters, grouped by countries or by judo techniques, that had been franked on the occasion of various events: first day covers, various Championships or Olympic Games. The subject was vast but exciting. First of all I decided to represent the Kata with as many stamps as possible of the same movement in order to hopefully break down the action or show the ideal position for Uke or Tori. A good search through specialised catalogues will yield a wide variety of fairly representative stamps, but it is always difficult to get hold of them either because they come from far away countries, or they are not collected very much or indeed because of their price.

Since 1982 I have been able to put together a thematic collection of over 600 pages that I can present at sports events in France and, since 1999, abroad.

I have been lucky enough to meet another collector of stamps on judo and we have been friends since 1985. This way we have been able to help each other and now we are in a position to exhibit almost all the stamps on judo issued in the world that are known to date. We have also produced a worldwide catalogue of the stamps we own.

At the request of the Secretary of the International Federation of Judo, we have shown part of our collections at the World Championships for juniors in Nabeul, Tunisia. Because we were short of display units and space, we cut down our exhibition to 123 pages instead of the 500 we had planned to show. Nevertheless, many visitors, whether judokas or residents of Nabeul, enjoyed the show and were very interested in the presentation of our sport through stamps!

Of course, our collection cannot stop now because stamps are issued throughout the year and especially in this year 2000 with the Sydney Olympic Games. For us who are looking for new ideas, we are particularly pleased to be able to get hold of the latest novelties and above all of the commemorative or permanent stamps.

The stamps I like most are always my latest finds. Certainly some of them are more meaningful, either because of the movement represented or the etching or the colours, but also because of the rare postmarks.
In Nabeul, a postmark commemorating the latest Championships was put on souvenirs issued by the Tunisian Philatelic Service or created by individuals. This postmark is soon going to be in great demand because very few stamp collectors or visitors to the exhibition asked for this postmark on their mail.

My friend and I hope more collectors will make themselves known to us so that we can help each other in our research. However one has to exercise a degree of caution because some people say they are collectors but they are not necessarily honest when exchanging stamps and they are mostly seeking to benefit from the work and research performed by genuine collectors. So, good luck to future collectors on the theme of judo! We wish them many beautiful and good quality finds!

PB


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