For anyone interested in stamps, the Philatelic Museum in Tokyo’s Toshima-ku is a must. The current exhibition focuses on stamps with an archaeological theme. When viewing stamps, the images displayed are only part of the story. It is the traces of past lives and stories that stamps evoke that give them meaning beyond their function. As well as providing glimpses onto personal histories from the past, they shine a light on the values and beliefs of past societies, through the images chosen to be displayed on the stamps and their popularity with the public. The wildly different meanings stamps held for different people is also a fascinating part of their history, as a stamp with an archaeological view could be both a treasured possession for a collector, and a pretty adornment to a postcard or a souvenir to another. The Philatelic Museum encourages us to think about the past in a different way through the stamps that it shows, and in so doing helps us to reflect on the ephemera in our own lives, and the objects in which we choose to invest meaning.