Index of Issues

This Study is a Work in Progress

New updates 3/30/2022

The study of these forgeries will never be complete.  New forgeries can be made at anytime or old forgeries undiscovered can be discovered.  As of the date above, this study is as complete as I can make it.  If you find a new forgery or one I haven’t described of the classic issues of Japan, please send me a message in the comment section below.  LME


Reproductions & Souvenir Sheets

All except the last two were issued with the authorization of the Japanese Ministry.  While not good for postage, many find them collectable.  The last two were clearly private souvenirs and were made with no attempt to deceive anyone, but unfortunately there are those who have no problem altering these souvenirs to make forgeries.


 Kitte Bunka Kai (Stamp Culture Association)

These two souvenir sheets in folders were issued on occasion of the 20th (the 20sen stamp), and 30th (the 30 sen stamp)  of the founding of Kitte Bunka Kai (Stamp Culture Association) .  There are several articles in Japanese Philately about the Yoshida family and the organizations and publications they founded.  One of the best is found in Japanese Philately, Vol. 19. pp 86-87.  Yoshida Ichirō and his son Yoshida Riichi were leading dealers, collectors, and philatelic publishers in Japan.  They were members, officers and supporters of the ISJP from its beginning until their deaths.

Forgeries described by A. M. Tracey Woodward

For more about Mr. Woodward click here.  His importance to this study is his discovery of what he termed Japanese “postal forgeries”.  That is, forgeries that were prepared and utilized to defraud the Japanese postal system. These stamps have become known as Woodward’s forgeries.  Not because he made them, but because they have never been attributed to anyone else and he was the first to describe them.


Old Koban Stamps (1876-1879)


UPU and New Koban Stamps (1883-1892)

There are no known forgeries by the major forgers of Japanese stamps of the UPU or New Koban stamps.  However there is one known forgery type by an unknown forger of three values of these stamps. They all have a forged printed “Tokio” cancel.  There is also one known value (the 15 sen green) of the old Koban stamps made by this forger.  That stamp is pictured with the other forgeries of that value.

Phantom Koban Forgeries (colors never issued)

Presentation (Koban Forgeries)