Two new stamps launched by the U.S. Postal Service for the new year have connections to Hawaii.
The Year of the Dog Forever stamp — the first stamp of the New Year to be issued Jan. 11 — features a cut-paper design of a dog by the late Hawaii graphic design icon Clarence Lee. The Byodo-In Temple Priority Mail stamp featuring the local landmark in Kaneohe will be issued Jan. 21 and available for sale nationwide Jan. 22.
Lee, whose paper-cut animal designs have graced every USPS Lunar New Year stamp since they were introduced in 1992, depicts an arrangement of lucky bamboo along with an intricate, cut-paper design of a dog. It also features a piece of red paper with the Chinese character “fu,” meaning good fortune, rendered in calligraphy, and the Chinese character for “dog,” drawn in grass-style calligraphy. It is the 11th of 12 stamps in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series.
The Byodo-In Temple Priority Mail stamp features a colorful illustration of the temple at Valley of the Temples Memorial Park in Kaneohe to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Built in 1968 to commemorate the centennial of the first Japanese immigration to Hawaii, it is a smaller-scale, concrete replica of a wooden Buddhist temple located in Uji, Japan that dates back to the middle of the 11th century.
A First Day of Issue ceremony is scheduled to commemorate the issuance of the Year of the Dog Forever stamp at 11 a.m. on Jan. 11 at the Chinatown Cultural Plaza in Honolulu. Those in attendance will be able to purchase sheets of the Year of the Dog stamps and have them hand canceled for free with a special commemorative postmark.
The Postal Service will also commemorate the issuance of the Byodo-In Temple Priority Mail stamp with a dedication event at 2 p.m. on Jan. 23 at the Byodo-In Temple. Those in attendance will be able to purchase Byodo-In Priority stamps and have them hand canceled for free with a special pictorial postmark.
Both events are free and open to the public.