Shigeo Nagashima is truly a Japanese national icon. In fact, his 1965 wedding was nationally televised, and was the most watched television show in Japan during the entire year! The wedding is commemorated on the stamp second from
left. The other players with stamps on this strip are Tatsuro Hirooka (HOF) (left), Masaichi Kaneda (HOF) (horizontal format stamp), and Tetsuharu Kawakami (HOF) (right). Kawakami was the Giants manager at the time. Kaneda had just
arrived from the Swallows, Hirooka was in the midst of his Hall of Fame career with the Giants, and "Mr. Giants" Nagashima was a blushing bride groom.
The stamps were produced for the Nagatanien Company, producers of nori
(seaweed), miso soup and other food products since 1953. The company name is printed on each of the stamps. On the back, the Japanese text states that these are not postage stamps, and that the photos are property of Baseball
Magazine. We don't know if the stamps were a prize inserted into Nagatanien products, or inserted into Baseball Magazine as part of an advertisement, or distributed to the public in some other manner. There must have been at least 20
stamps in the set, as these cards are numbered 5, 10, 15 and 20. However, we have not seen many other cards from the set.
In case you missed it the first time, here are some Nagashima wedding highlights:
Size: The four card strip is 5 1/2" x 1 3/4". Each stamp is 1 3/8" x 1 3/4".
Condition: The outside perforations were torn in a somewhat ragged manner. The Hirooka and Nagashima stamps each have a crease. Overall--Vg/Ex