MCAS Iwakuni residents attend Tenkoku Stamp Class

Tenkoku Stamp sets laid out for Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni residents to use at the Atago Lotus Cultural Center in Iwakuni City, Japan, Nov. 5th, 2020. MCAS Iwakuni residents learned about monk Dokuryu Shoeki and how he brought the Tenkoku Stamp and many other traditions to Iwakuni. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Trista Whited)
Tenkoku Stamp sets laid out for Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni residents to use at the Atago Lotus Cultural Center in Iwakuni City, Japan, Nov. 5th, 2020. MCAS Iwakuni residents learned about monk Dokuryu Shoeki and how he brought the Tenkoku Stamp and many other traditions to Iwakuni. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Trista Whited)

MCAS Iwakuni residents attend Tenkoku Stamp Class

by Lance Cpl. Trista Whited
Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni residents visited the Atago Lotus Cultural Center for a class about the history of the Tenkoku Sealing Stamp in Iwakuni City, Japan, Nov. 5, 2020.

The Marine Corps Community Services’ Cultural Adaptation Program hosted the annual event to teach MCAS Iwakuni residents how to make their own Tenkoku Stamp, commonly used as a signature for letters, books and art.

“I really wanted to make the stamps,” said Brooke DeWolfe, a MCAS Iwakuni resident, “I like all the details the Japanese put into everything, and my symbol stands for wolf, the animal.”

This year, MCAS Iwakuni residents were able to purchase and make a Tenkoku-stamped lantern. Some of the stamps stood for things such as: “Iwakuni”, “What beautiful mountains and rivers Iwakuni has” and “Keeping a happy moment for a long time.”

“I participated in this class last year,” said Genevieve Copeland, a MCAS Iwakuni resident, “The new lanterns sparked my interest. I like how they said not to worry about mistakes, because that is what makes it uniquely yours.”

The Cultural Adaptation Program holds events every month for residents to dive deeper into the Japanese Culture. Events during the month of November include the Tenkoku Stamp class, a walk to the White Snake Shrine, and a pottery class on November 19th.

“Cultural Adaptation gives them [MCAS Iwakuni residents] the opportunity to reach some Japanese culture especially Iwakuni culture, because Iwakuni is a very historical city,” said Mikie Watanabe, a Cultural Adaptation Specialist with MCCS, “besides the Tenkoku sealing stamp, Monk Dokuryu Shoeki brought a souvenir book from China that inspired the design of the Kintai Bridge.”

To attend future Cultural Adaptation trips or receive more information, contact 253-6165 or visit the Cultural Adaptation office at building 411, between Crossroads and Building One. They are open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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