Doraemon (Japanese: ドラえもん) a.k.a. the Gadget Cat from the Future is the brainchild of the cartoonist duo Fujiko Fujio (Japanese: 藤子 不二雄 ). Doraemon indeed comes from the future, from the 22nd century and his mission is to help the clumsy and lazy schoolchild Nobita Nobi (Japanese: 野比のび太). There are about 45 volumes of manga having Doraemon as main character, but Doraemon’s success did not limit to Japan and to manga. There are thousands of TV episodes of animes, books, memorabilia, and even a museum devoted to Doraemon.
I personally have a soft spot for Doraemon as the Doraemon manga (featuring the logo above) were among the first manga I read. Luckily, they are available in a learner’s pack of 10 volumes of bilingual manga, otherwise, I would have often had trouble with the original Japanese. Of course they are translated integrally in English, but where would be the fun?
Above you can see Doraemon’s debut (yes, he entered the 20th century through a desk drawer) and the effect he had on Nobita.
Since I mentioned Doraemon memorabilia, of course one item that could not be missing is Doraemon-themed stamps. Japan is the only country I know that has used Doraemon on stamps. It has done so since 1997, and the number of Doraemon stamps is ever growing.
Pictured above is the first series of Doraemon stamps from 1997. The 5 80¥ stamps plus 5 vignettes were issued as self-adhesive stamps on a booklet. They were issued as ‘greeting stamps‘ (Japanese: グリーテイング切手) and according to the Sakura Catalog of Stamps they were the first such stamps to be published. Full sheets are harder to stumble upon nowadays. No wonder that the popular Doraemon made it here first.
In 2004, Japan Post issued another interesting series of stamps in which they found room for Doraemon. It may strike as an odd combination in the beginning, as the series of stamps is called “Science and Technology and Animation Heroes” (Japanese: 科学技術とアニメ・ヒーロー). But if you think about it, it makes sense – the featured animation heroes, among which Doraemon, are actually sci-fi characters and hence the connection to science and technology.
Pictured above, the 2004 stamps. They feature 4 Doraemon designs, each of them twice on the sheets.
Doraemon made it again on stamps, and in good company! for the PhilaNippon Exhibition from 2011. There are two designs of sheets of self-adhesive stamps featuring anime characters.
The above sheets present left to right: Atom Boy (Japanese: 鉄腕アトム ), Doraemon (Japanese: ドラえもん), Pikachu (Japanese: ピカチュウ); and Hello Kitty (Japanese: ハロー・キティ).
Pictured above, the 10 designs of Doraemon stamps issued in 2013 as a sheet from the series “Animation Heroes and Heroines” (Japanese: アニメ・ヒーロー・ヒロインシリーズ). They are some of the most imaginative Doraemon stamps, and the scenes from the anime look really entertaining.
Last but not least, Japan Post issued in 2015 again two sheets of greeting stamps featuring Doraemon.
They are particularly appealing due to the various mimic poses of the character. Both the 52¥ and the 80¥ are self-adhesive.
Stamps featured in post: 65; Period: contemporary (1997-2015); Pricing: moderate; Availability: rather scarce.