Life Japanese Airmail Envelopes

These are my favourite envelopes in the shop. Most of the time I try to dodge questions about what my favourite products are, but sometimes favourites cannot be helped. They’re from Life Japanese Stationery, and these airmail envelopes come in a few sizes.

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Airmail is something of an anachronistic notation – I think it has to do with the “olden days” where some mail was sent by ship, and more expensive postal would have your mail sent by plane. However, there is still something nice about these airmail envelopes, and around the world, there seems to be very familiar looking markings for mail or stationery to be sent “via air mail.” In college, I spent some time in Madagascar, and wrote Jon letters in envelopes with these very same blue and red air mail markings.

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These are just the envelopes – I know there are some really old style envelopes where they come unfolded, and you write your letter on the inside of it. When you’re done, you fold it up into an envelope form and put a stamp on it.

There are three sizes – the largest (#4) fits an A4 or letter sheet folded in thirds, and the smallest (#7) fits an A5 sheet folded. The middle one (#6) will have to bear some folding of the paper to shorten its width it if it’s a letter or A4 sized sheet.

#7: 92 mm x 165 mm
#6: 98 mm x 190 mm
#4: 105 mm x 235 mm

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The envelopes have a peel off tape for the adhesive, so no licking necessary. The inside has a blue pattern inside to keep your secrets safe. It’s printed right on the envelope, so it’s not another layer of paper, like the luxurious feeling G.Lalo envelopes.

The paper on these envelopes also has a good feel – not too heavy, but strong and smooth. They will hold up to wherever you need to send them.

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According to the Canada Post website, when sending US or other international mail:

All letters and postcards must bear the words “AIR MAIL” and/or “PAR AVION” in black or blue on the address side of the item, in the upper left-hand corner, under the return address (when provided). The words “AIR MAIL” and “PAR AVION” can also be printed on a black or blue label, affixed in the same location.

While I don’t think Canada Post will actually hold you to this and detain or return your mail, with the convenience of many things Japanese, these envelopes say air mail for you! However, you can also get free Air Mail stickers from Canada Post just by asking.

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3 thoughts on “Life Japanese Airmail Envelopes

  1. Ruth Martin

    Goodness, I didn’t know that international mail was still supposed to be labelled “Air Mail” – I assumed that the exorbitant price of an international stamp included air transport automatically! That said, letters to and from my penpal in Australia always seem to arrive in a week or so, so I’m pretty sure they don’t get relegated to a ship.

    Reply
    1. Wonder Pens Post author

      While the inner workings of Canada Post are beyond my comprehension, I also don’t think that they ship too much mail by boat these days. I’m not sure why you need to label it airmail!

      Reply
  2. Jil McIntosh (@JilMcIntosh)

    Airmail was definitely different from regular mail, which went on a ship. When I was a child, grownups would buy the special “airmail” stationery to send letters overseas. The big difference was that the paper was onionskin, and so you could write several pages and they’d weigh the same as one sheet of regular paper. This was important, because the postage was determined by weight. Airmail was expensive, and you wanted to write as much as you could for the price.

    Reply

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