SCB Stamp Collecting Blog - the premier resource for exclusive stamp information and news

Here are some 18th century revenue stamps from Japan. Normally I would know very little about these, as they fall out of the scope of regular postage stamp catalogs. But with little help from my online friends I think I’ve nailed these pretty accurately. As many of these stamps come up frequently under the ‘I’ve got an unidentified Japanese stamp…’ discussions, I think these are worth sharing.

1885 Japan. 5 Sen Document revenue stamp.

1885 Japan. 5 Sen Document revenue stamp.

In Japan, document revenue stamps are usually placed in the upper left or right corner of the front page (though the location is a matter of custom rather than law). The revenue stamp should have a chop seal (cancel) placed half over it and half over the agreement to protect against re-use.  The above document revenue stamp has got very traditional in Japanese design: on the corners are cherry blossoms, on the middle is the chrysanthemum symbol (symbol of the emperor). Stamps from this set are relatively common findings especially in old collections of stamps.

1898 Japan. General revenues (missing 2 sen value).

1898 Japan. General revenues (missing 2 sen value).

The above revenues are from 1898 to 1909 general purpose series. The values 1 sen to 10 sen (unfortunately I don’t have the 2 sen value to display) feature “karakusa scroll” in addition of the chrysanthemum symbol. Based on how often these stamps come up on various ‘mystery stamp discussions’, these have to be one of the most common revenues to date.

1885. Japanese telegraph stamp.

1885. Japanese telegraph stamp.

Above is Japanese 15 Sen telegraph stamp issued in 1885. I’ve seen these sold on eBay monthly less than 0.10US$ a piece. It features a very typical telegraph postmark (see also this entry about Japanese postmarks).

1875 Japan. 3 Rin tobacco revenue. Sadly it's nothing more than a space filler in current condition.

1875 Japan. 3 Rin tobacco revenue. Sadly it's nothing more than a space filler in current condition.

And last, but not least is a 3 Rin tobacco tax (duty) stamp.  The series was issued in November 1875.  The design is very cutting edge for the time: on the top is the chrysanthemum symbol, below that are four characters “tobako inshi” (tobacco duty) and face value. In the center is mount Fuji with two tobacco plants around.  Various tobacco revenues are relatively easy to find even 150 later as tobacco was very popular in Japan at the time.

PS. If the topic interest, do check out entry about Japanese 1898 parcel post revenue stamp.

Closing words

As usual, please feel free to chime in and share your knowledge / opinions.

You might also be interested of related posts about , .

Subscribe to free newsletter

Click here to subscribe the weekly newsletterSign-up to SCB newsletter and get notified when new articles like the above are published at Stamp Collecting Blog. The email-newsletter is sent to Your inbox one to four times a month, and it contains a summary of new entries and discussions on the blog, as well as a short behind the scenes editorial.

Your email address:

There is 1 response for this entry, click to read the responses.

Leave a new response

All responses are moderated before publishing. Responses should be respectful of other voices in the discussion and remain on topic. All buy/sell messages will be deleted, as well as questions about stamp values (you can always get yourself a stamp catalog from public library, or get your stamps valued). If You want to share an picture/photo, use the Insert image option below. Please share only images of items that you own/have in your collection. reserves the right to edit or delete comments that violate these policies.

And finally... A small IQ test. Please click the picture that is NOT a postage stamp. Then press the "Submit Comment" button below images.

Stamp imageStamp imageStamp imageStamp image

Latest comments on the blog

View more...

All original content and images of this blog is under copyright protection; any kind of reproduction of full contents without permission of the owner is hereby denied. All Rights Reserved © Keijo Kortelainen, 2009-2016. All photos of stamps in this blog are enlargements or reductions of original stamps from private collection of author of the blog (unless otherwise stated). The designs of stamps and postmarks are copyright of issuing postal authorities and their designers. The comments / discussion on this blog are copyright of their retrospective authors, and represent the opinion of their authors. When submitting content of any type to this Website, you agree that you assign to this Website and its successors perpetual and unlimited license free of charge to host, store, publish, reproduce, publicly display or otherwise use any content and materials of any type provided or contributed by You. Catalog numbers (Scott, Michel, SG etc) are the copyrighted property of their publishers. | See our privacy policy