Jong Yong Il, a stamp collector, works at the Mangyongdae Machine Tool Factory and lives in Pothonggang District, Pyongyang.
Over the past three decades, he has collected many stamps of various themes. His stamps were highly appreciated at exhibitions.
From his childhood, he was interested in drawing. After school he would spend his spare time drawing pictures from animations and illustrated books, and cropping pictures from New Year cards and stamps and matching them fairly. And he made his own illustrated books with them, which enjoyed high popularity among his classmates. The best of his illustrated books was the one made with the stamps he had collected. He still keeps the books. From then on, he began collecting stamps.
Stamp-collecting was his pleasure and part of his life.
Over ten stamp books with various themes, including history, architecture, flower and animal, vividly show how much effort he devoted to collecting stamps. His books contain over 5 000 pieces of stamps arranged in chronological and thematic orders, including “Rose of Sharon” and “Samson Hermitage” which were issued for the first time in Korea after national liberation (August 1945).
These books are the epitome of his life.
He made painstaking efforts to collect them. Once he traveled hundreds of ri to obtain a piece of stamps. He is also well known at his factory for his elaborate and tenacious workmanship. He says that he came to possess his workmanship while collecting stamps.
As a member of the Korean Philatelists Union, he does more than collecting stamps. He propagates stamp culture and history of its development among people with his stamp books, inspiring the national pride and self-confidence in them.
He took part in national stamp exhibitions every year, including the exhibitions held in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War and the 70th founding anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, and won diplomas and medals.
He said, “Stamp is not merely a small picture on a piece of paper but a treasure of a nation that reflects its history and culture.”
His two daughters, too, are stamp collectors.