Cherry Blossoms: 1 Sen Brown with Ribbon


Issued October 1875 – Scott #53 and Sakura #49 on foreign wove paper

Size 19 1/2 mm x 22 1/2 mm

It is  interesting to note that there is controversy about the issue date of this stamp.  Sakura says it was issued on 12 June 1875 (the planned date of issue) as do other Japanese catalogs.  Ichida, in his Cherry Blossom book, says it was issued in August of 1875.  It is known that there were delays from the planned issue date.  The 1 sen stamp did not go on sale until October 1875.  The earliest confirmed date of use is 3 November 1875.

Over the years, opinion about the actual printing method and plates for this stamp has changed.  Current opinion is that while only two original etched plates were made.  These two original plates were reproduced several times by the electrotype method.  Thus the exact number of plates is unknown.  Study of retouching shows that at least two plates were produced by the electrotype process.  Ichida [p315] says that it is probable that the number of plates was at least 10.


Genuine 1 sen brown with ribbon



Differences Between Genuine and Forged

    1. Corner ornaments in the inner frame usually have heavier shading and more jogged edges than the forgeries.
    2.  The three top paulownia blossoms are usually slightly separated at the base.  They are joined at a common base in most forteries.
    3. The lowest blossom on the right side is almost always attached to the left stem.  In the forgeries it is attached to the right stem.
    4. The two paulownia are usually separate to the top leaf.  In many forgeries the stems join before reaching the edge of the leaf.
    5. The stem between the second and fourth paulownia leaves always shows in the genuine.  It is not often seen in the forgeries.

1 sen brown with ribbon genuine & forged characteristics

Signed” Forgeries all with sankō

Maeda: with Sankō below Value Characters
Maeda:  with Sankō below value characters



Wada: Plate 17, Position 6, State 4
Wada: Plate 17, State 4, Position 6  with Sankō



Wada: Plate 17, Position 6, State 5 with major retouching
Wada: Plate 17, State 5, Position 6 with Sankō
Major Retouching




Forgeries “Unsigned

Shown with a photo of a genuine stamp.


Wada: Plate 41
Wada: Plate 41



Hirose: Position 1 with red sankō
Hirose:  Position 1

Examples exist without this “red sankō overprint. In fact it is felt that there are more examples without the overprint than with the overprint. Also position 2 is known but not described. Probably the features that Identify position 1 as a forgery are repeated in position 2.

Overprinted with “red sankō”




Note: Numbers in parenthesis and bold are the catalog numbers found on reverse of the forgeries.  State 4 forgeries did not have any numbers on the reverse. It is believed that State 4 forgeries exist for all different values.  But only a few State 4 examples were available for examination.  When State 4 was available for examination, the design type is recorded.

ABC (Kurabu) Club Forgery brown with tied ribbon – Design 122

States 1  2, 3 & 5 (No. 43), State 4 (no number).

Characteristics of Design 122:

      1. Center of ribbon missing.
      2. Loop of South “S” closed.
Genuine 1 sen brown tied ribbon with ABC: Design 122.



Genuine with JSPA 1 sen brown, tied ribbon, 10 July 1962
Japan Stamp Publicity Association Sheet No. 7 Issued 10  July 1962.

The stamp on this sheet reproduces the genuine 1 sen brown originally issued August 1875 on wove paper.  The reproduction is imperforate on cream-colored wove paper.   Click here to see more information about JSPA reproductions.