The Intriguing Covers of Hideaki Nakano

Hideaki Nakano is (was? — keep reading to see why that’s a question) a cachet cover artist that has done some really interesting and different covers.  I’ve been struggling to find more detailed information on him via a few cursory searches, but I will continue to search…I’ve found a few forum posts from 2015 indicating that at that time he was still active in the Detroit area.  His covers range from political to satire to historical to just plain…weird.  But I’ve found a ton of them super interesting.

Not too long ago I was able to get a bunch of them (45 of them in fact) and I’ve been enjoying looking at them — I finally took some time to scan a bunch of them and wanted to share them here.  They vary in size — some are standard letter envelope sizes, some are large envelopes (which create large and attractive cachets) and some aren’t even envelopes at all!  Almost all feature his custom personal perfin, showing “H.N” which you can spot on the pictures below if you look closely.  (Open the pictures in a new tab in order to view them in higher resolution.)

The first that I will show are space covers.  My favorite of these is the “cover” made with a USPS Philatelic catalog from 1989.  And it’s not just the cover — it’s the entire catalog!  I enjoyed flipping through it.

There is also a wonderful cover featuring foreign stamps as well as the Apollo-Soyuz pair.  (I’m not a topical collector, but the Apollo-Soyuz stamps almost make me want to dive into astrophilately.)

Similar is this cover made from the holographic postal stationery issued in 1989 and includes a souvenir sheet from Ras al Khaima (which I would normally dislike due to not being postally valid but it really rounds out the cover).

This one is particularly interesting — he used a chocolate wrapper which had a stamp-related design itself.  The back of the envelope has a poem printed on it — I scanned that as well.

This cover is from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s inauguration as the Governor of California.

This cover is from the Obama inauguration — it took me longer than I care to admit to notice that the official stamps spell out “O‑B-A-M‑A,” at first glance they just looked sort of jumbled.

Computer-vended stamps are featured on this cover, which has details on the back — the competing “first day of issue” cancels are especially interesting — at first I thought one was an error until I looked closer and saw the slight difference making the bottom 29-cent stamp a different issue entirely.

The IPSA (Independent Postal System of America) existed for a brief period of time to compete with the USPS (then the USPO) for 3rd- and 4th-class mail.  This cover is interesting to me because it has an IPSA first day cancel as well as a USPS first day cancel.

This cover features the very first self-adhesive US stamp!  The Peace on Earth stamp wasn’t particularly loved by collectors at the time as the adhesive often stained covers.  Surrounding it are other self-adhesives.

This cover also features early self-adhesives dating back to the time when they first were being issued widely (the Peace on Earth stamp on the above cover is considered by some to be somewhat of a failed experiment).  The advertising on the left is particularly interesting.

If anyone has any more specific information about Nakano, I would appreciate if you comment or reach out to me…it is hard to find information online, surprisingly so given how relatively easy it is to find his covers for sale!  I don’t know if he’s still active, or still alive, or what his latest creations are.  I would love to know more.  For now I will continue to acquire covers of his that interest me.  This will be a fun little side collection to maintain.

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