Representative Articles from Japanese Philately


Article from Current Issue 

Each of these articles are available in full in downloadable pdf format by clicking on the link to the right of the date of the article or by clicking on the graphic shown.



December 2016

Airmail in the Dutch East Indies during World War II

by J. R. van Nieuwkerk


Older Representative Articles Ordered by Date...Most Recent First

August 2016- First-Day Scenic and Swordguard Cancellation on National Park Issues

by Anker Nielsen

These days, new stamp issues, such as Commemorative and Special issues and Greetings issues, which have amore “national” character, have special pictorial first-day cancels that are used at officially designated post offices. For the more localized Prefectural issues there is no special pictorial cancel authorized, but instead the designated first-day post office(s) uses its scenic datestamp as a first-day pictorial datestamp. This latter practice of using scenic datestamps was also employed in the now discontinued National Park issues.It is easy to find covers with first-day cancellations from the National Park issues.

An example from Aso National Park

Datestamp depicts Mt. Aso in the background and rindō (gentians), Kumamoto's prefectural flower in the foreground.


Foreign Mail Registered Labels 




June 2016 - Foreign mail registered labels – a rare type of
Post Office identification

The 1891 UPU Congress in Vienna changed the existing rule relating to international registered mail to read


Registered articles should bear a label…. Nevertheless, Administrations whose domestic regulations do not at present authorize the use of labels, are permitted to defer the execution of this measure and to continue the use of [hand] stamps for designating registered articles.


Japan began its adherence to this preferred way of identifying registered mail articles by adopting the use of registered labels in early 1893.(1)



April  2016 -- "Postal Meters from Post Offices in Japan

by Anker Nielsen

In most countries you will find posted items where stamps have not been used to pay the postage.  A typical solution is to use postal meter machines to make labels or print directly on to the letter.  These meter machines are used by private first and different authorities.  The label must give the date of sending, the place name, the name of the country and the amount of postage paid.  In many cases the label will also include a picture, symbol or text about the firm.  These machines have to be approved by the postal administration.

Post Office Meter Stamps





February 2016 --  Book Review: 

"2015 Thematic Japan Stamp Catalogue - Vol.1

Flower Stamps"


Reviewed by Anker Nielsen

In September 2015, the JPP published the first volume of a new series of "thematic" Japanese stamp catalogues.  This book review examines this first volume on the subject of flowers.  Download the full review by clicking on the title above or on the graphic of the cover at the left.

December 2015 --  "Karl Lewis Covers Part 4: Japanese Domestic Origins – I

(Note: This download is only the first 14 pages of a 65 page article)



This article began as a report on the dwindling content range of the annual Sakura stamp catalogue, coupled with the question of whether the catalogue is losing its previous usefulness. As so often happens when researching a subject, the scope of this article expanded to be much greater than originally intended, and our investigations have led us to providing a report on the current and future status of not only Sakura, but also the other stamp catalogues produced by the Japan Philatelic Society (JPS) through its subsidiary Japan Philatelic Publications (JPP). In pursuing this intent, we are indebted to ISJP Director Matsumoto Jun Ichi for his assistance in obtaining specific information directly from the Chief Editor of the JPP, who in turn gained the consent of the JPP President for us to share it with our readers.

October 2015 --  "JPS Stamp Catalogues Recent Changes and Future Directions



August 2015 -- "A Letter Bearing a Dragon Stamp That Went Abroad in 1872"  by Matsumoto Jun Ichi






June 2015 -- "The Missing Karl Lewis Link" by Todd Lewis (Karl Lewis Project coordinator)