Cherry Blossoms: 20 Sen Violet with Syllabics
Scott #30 and Sakura #24 with syllabics (I-1), syllabic (ro-2) , or syllabic (ha-3) on native paper.
Scott #38 and Sakura #34 with syllabics (ni-4) or syllabic (ho-5) on foreign wove paper.
Size 22 1/2 mm x 25 1/2 mm
While the Government printed syllabics , , and on native paper, the stamps were never issued to the Japanese public. Syllabics exists only on wove paper. All known stamps were utilized as specimens for official notifications and bear the black-dot (sumi-ten) specimen overprint. Syllabics , and exist only in unused condition. It is believed that they were sold to foreign stamp dealers as export sheets for disposal by the government.
There is one original plate for each syllabic. Printing was done by the Government on native paper for syllabics , , and . Foreign wove paper was used for syllabices and . Syllabics , , and were thought to have been engraved by Matsuda. Syllabics and by Umemura. A lighter shade of violet was used for the syllabic than for syllabic .
There are no known classic forgeries of syllabics , , and , but there are ABC Kurabu (Club) forgeries of , and which are not deceptive. All the classic more deceptive forgeries are syllabic .
There is no secret mark on the genuine stamps.
Reminder: Only 16 petals or florets in the genuine Kiku Crest (Chrysanthemum Crest).
Genuine – Government Printing
Genuine with Syllabic (i -1)
Photo from The Cherry Blossom Issues of Japan, 1872-1876 by Ichida, Dr. Soichi page 182
Genuine with Syllabic (ro -2)
Genuine with Syllabic (ha -3)
Genuine with Syllabic (Ni -4)
Genuine with Syllabic (ho-5)
Differences Between Genuine and Forged
These characteristics are typical of most of the forgeries.
A: Genuine: At the lower end of the central band, the inner scroll ends with an upward curl before the paulownia leaf and does not touch the leaf. Forgeries: In forgeries, the end curl is usually downward and/or may touch the leaf.
B. Genuine: There are seven round buds on the center flower stem and five buds on the side stems. Forgeries: Some have five buds on the center stem and less then five on the side stems.
C: Genuine: Each inner frame ornament has a distinct central notch from which three flower protrude. The center flower stem continues back to the base of the ornament. Forgeries: Some forgeries have no V-shaped depression and all the flower stems end at the edge of the ornament.
Wada: Plate 27
Sankō at bottom outside oval ring in color or stamp.
Hirose: Position 1
Large red sankō overprint. Probably exists without overprint.
Hirose: Die 1
Forgery with syllabic (ho-5)
Although this example has the red sankō overprint, it is known with no sankō.
Hirose: Die 2
Forgery with syllabic (ho-5)
ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) - 1950's-1960's
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 – Design 109-A.
States 1, 2, 3 & 5 (No. 19).
Only known forgery with syllabic (ro-2)
Characteristics of Design 109-A:
- Uneven top.
ABC (Kurabu) Club Forgery – Design 109-B
States 1, 2, 3 & 5 (No. 29).
Only known forgery with syllabic (ni-4).
Characteristics of Design 109-B:
- Extra dot.
Japan Stamp Publicity Association
Genuine with JSPA Sheet No. 9 Issued 20 November 1962 with Syllabic (ho-5)
The stamp on this sheet reproduces the genuine issue of February 1874 on wove paper. The stamp is imperforate on cream-colored wove paper. Click here to see more information about JSPA reproductions.
Kitte Bunka Kai (Stamp Culture Association) On the Occasion of their 20th Anniversary – 1964
The genuine 20 sen Cherry Blossom stamp syllabic is one of the rarest stamps of Japan. It was never issued to the Japanese public. It is only known used with the back dot (sumi-ten) of a specimen stamp. The photograph shown here is taken from Dr. Ichida’s book, The Cherry Blossom Issues of Japan 1872-1876, page 182. At the time of publication of Dr. Ichida’s book (1965), he says that about 6 copies probably exist. The photo of the copy shown here was in the Kanai collection (x-Caspary). Note the clear sumi-ten (black-dot) on the chrysanthemum crest.
As explained in Japanese Philately, Vol. 19, p104, this reproduction was made from a new die engraved by the retired Chief of the Engraving Section of the Government Printing Bureau, Katō Kurakichi. The reproduction is exquisite in engraving detail and printing. Only 1,000 copies were issued to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Kitte Bunka Kai of Tokyo.
The sheet is heavy high-quality wove paper, 121 x166 mm, and the stamp is in the violet color of the original.
The additional inscriptions :
- At top – Kitte Bunka Kai Sōritus Nijūshūnen Kinen (Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Founding of the Kitte Bunka Kai).
- At bottom – The date 1964 and the name of the Society .
The folder cover in light green has similar inscriptions and an explanation inside.