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     In 2005 Japan issued a set of four stamps, each with a map of Hokkaido, and a plant, animal or bird native to the island to Hokkaido. The island is the second largest of the four main Japanese islands and is the northernmost. Until the lat 19th century the island was known as Ezo and was populated by the native Ainu people. In 1869 it was renamed Hokkaido and other Japanese began to settle on the island, and the Ainu were assimilated into the general Japanese culture.
     The first stamp features a picture of the Sweetbriar and former Shana Post office. Next is a picture of a sea otter; the third, cherry blossoms, and the last, a Tufted Puffin.

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