UPU, New and Phantom-Koban Forgeries

The stamps below were all made by unknown forgers.  Enlarged graphics of the 2 sen & 5 sen are not available.  If anyone has a copy of these two stamps and could help with a high resolution scan of them, their scans would be added to this study.

These forgeries do not have any sankō mozō or mihon, but instead they can be identified by their printed “Tokio” cancel as shown below. The stamps are crudely drawn on very thick paper, almost thin cardboard. They appear to have been produced imperforate.  The fake “TOKIO” cancellation is at either the SW or SE corner of the stamp.

  • UPU Koban: 2 sen carmine, issued 1893, Scott #73, Sakura #79
  • New Koban: 4 sen olive green ,issued 10 March 1888, Scott #77, Sakura #83
  • UPU Koban: 5 sen ultramarine, issued 1893, Scott #74, Sakura #80
  • Two Phantom Koban stamps in colors never issued

UPU Koban: Forgeries with Genuine

UPS Koban: 2 sen with Tokio printer cancel

Unknown Forger: Koban UPU issue, 2 sen carmine with fake “Tokio” printed cancel.

UPU Koban: 5 sen with Tokio printed cancel

Unknown Forger: Koban UPU issue, 5 sen ultramarine with fake “Tokio” printed cancel.

New Koban: Genuine & Forged




There is only one value of the New Koban series (1888-1892) known fake at this time (10/24/2020). This fake is shown at the right and bears the fake “Tokio” cancel.

New Koban: 4 sen with printed cancel

Unknown Forger: New Koban series, 4 sen olive brown with fake “Tokio” printed cancel.

Koban: Phantom Forgeries

(There are no genuine Koban Stamps of any series in these value with these colors.)



The 10 sen value of the Old Koban design is blue and not any shade or red, orange or green. These phantom forgeries are very crude and unlikely to deceive. Since there is no genuine value in these colors, there is no genuine stamp to compare. Only the forgeries are shown at the right.

New Koban: 4 sen with printed cancel
New Koban: 4 sen with printed cancel