by Melvyn Gallagher
Many readers will know about - and indeed some may be looking forward to attending - the 23rd World Scout Jamboree being hosted by Japan in July 2015. Already our Scout Association is gearing up for it and parties of Japanese Scouts have been visiting the U.K. On exchange and other related visits.
The Japanese hosted the 13th World Scout Jamboree back in 1971 at Asagiri Heights and issued a single stamp in commemoration. The 2015 Jamboree is taking place at Kirara Beach, Yamaguchi, the theme being “A Spirit of Unity”.
Scouting in Japan started back in 1911, being first registered in 1922 but dissolved in 1940, starting up again post war with their first National Jamboree at Tokyo in 1949. Heavily influenced by American Scouting the stamp issued for this event depicts an illustration of a Scout with Japanese features, who was in fact an American Scout named George Russell - this picture first being reproduced in a 1948 American Scout publication.
Since then many Scouting events and anniversaries have been commemorated with Japanese stamps, postal stationery and postmarks and no doubt this event will see more, as well as stamps from other countries too, and sadly many of these will be speculative issues.