Terms Used About Forgeries

All of the forgery graphics and terms come from ISJP CD-Monograph by Ron Casey, Thomas L. Zane and Lois M. Evans-de Violini, titled Forgeries of the Dragon, Cherry Blossom and Koban Postage Stamps of Japan, 2nd edition, published in 2002, and available from the ISJP.

The Plates are the printing plates made by each forger for the printing of forgeries.  They are designated by the forger name, if known.

Cherry blossom issues with a hexagonal syllabic box are postal stationery not stamps. All stamps both genuine and forged have a square syllabic box. Forgeries exist of the postal stationery and these forgeries also have a hexagonal syllabic box.

Wada Forgeries:
    1. Dragons forgeries are designated with Plate A, B. C. etc. followed by a state number, and position number.  Position numbers are seldom used in this study, but they designate the exact place (if known) in the plate and not the only difference between the genuine and forged.
    2. Cherry Blossom forgeries are designated Plates 1-40.  Japanese cherry blossom forgeries by Wada, are arranged by face value, color and major identifying characteristics.
    3. Koban forgeries are designated Plate 1-29. Wada produced both engraved and lithographed forgeries of the Koban stamps. With a little experience, these two types are easily recognized. The details of the engraved stamps appear clearer and sharper in comparison to the softer, flatter appearance of the lithographed counterfeits.
Kamigata Forgeries:
    1. Dragon forgeries and designate with Type 1-6 followed by state number.  Since stamps produced by lithography from a single die (type), position numbers are not relevant.
    2. Cherry Blossom forgeries also lithographed from a single die of different types.
    3. Koban forgeries mostly from one type for each value.  Occasionally a 2nd type.
Lithographed with the Type designations.
    1. Dragon Forgeries: Die designations.  Only two dies used for all values of the Dragon Stamps. (One retouched)
    2. Cherry Blossoms:  Plate and State designations used.
    3. Koban:  Hirose forgeries not known.
Mihon Forgeries
    1. Dragons:  Type a-h used (meaning 8 different designs were used).
    2. Cherry Blossoms:  Type 1-3 used for each value.
    3. Koban: no mihon forgeries known

change as some significant feature, such as position of the “signed” marking changed, or there was retouching of design.  The sequence in which the different states are noted is based largely on observations of plate wear which continues to be difficult to distinguish from poor inking.


Have little relevance to this study and, except in the case of the genuine stamps, are mostly ignored. The position is the number from left to right, top to bottom of the individual stamp in the plate.