FUKUOKA, Special stamps commemorating the listing of a series of drawings of Japanese coal miners as UNESCO \”Memory of the World\” heritage pieces have become a smash hit, prompting postal officials to order additional print runs.Four thousand sets of the stamps, which bear drawings by late artist Sakubei Yamamoto (1892-1984), were first released in part of Fukuoka Prefecture on Feb. 1, and were virtually sold out by the next day.
The Kyushu branch of Japan Post Network Co. in Kumamoto quickly decided to issue an additional 8,000 sets, which will go on sale on Feb. 11. The stamp sheets — each comprising 10 80-yen stamps and priced 1,200 yen — feature Yamamoto\’s works depicting labor in coal mines such as coal washing.The first batch of sheets went on sale at 287 post offices in the Chikuho, Kitakyushu and Keichiku regions in Fukuoka Prefecture on Feb. 1, with one post office selling its allotment in about 30 minutes.The additional batches will hit the market starting at a temporary outlet in the Tagawa City Coal-mining Museum, which exhibits Yamamoto\’s works. This will be followed by distribution through 287 post offices in the aforementioned three regions from Feb. 13. The stamps will not be available via mail order.The Tagawa Funao Post Office, which hit on the idea of selling the memorial stamps, has been flooded with calls from both in and outside the prefecture.