Cherry Blossoms: 2 Sen Yellow with Ribbon


Issued August 1875 – Scott #54 and Sakura #50  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.  Over the years there has been controversy about the actual printing method and plates for this stamp. 


Genuine 2 sen yellow with ribbon



Secret Mark

  • Northwest corner ornament:   8 sections.
  • Northeast corner ornament:  9 sections.

Note: Both the South ornaments have only 8 sections like the Northwest ornament.  Don’t count the dots. They often don’t have any relationship to the sections. One or the other of the outside side dots will be missing or so close the side frame lines that they can’t be observed with accuracy and seem as part of the inside frame.

2 sen yellow: secret mark

Differences Between Genuine and Forged

Difference genuine and forged, 2 sen yellow with ribbon

Top Charateristics:

  1.  Genuine: Two stems of paulownia hold the blossoms. Forgeries: Some have only one stem.
  2.  Genuine: Lowest flower on west stem is open with dot in center. Forgeries:  Lowest flower is a bud.

Bottom Characteristic:

  1. Genuine: Stem shows between the third and fifth paulownia leaves. Forgeries: Stem is missing.

Signed” Forgeries all with sankō

Maeda: type 2, 2 sen with ribbon
Maeda:  with Sankō




Wada: Plate 42/43 with sankō , 2 sen yellow with ribbon
Wada: Plate 42/43, Position 3  with Sankō

Position 3 & 6 are with sankō.  Other positions in same plate have no sankō. See unsigned below



Wada: Plate 42/43with sankō , 2 sen vermilion1 with ribbon (phantom)
Wada: Plate 42/43, Position 3  with Sankō

Same as yellow color, but in vermilion which was never a color of the genuine (phantom).




Unsigned” Forgeries

Genuine with Wada Plate 44: 2 sen yellow and vermilion (phantom) with ribbon
Wada: Plate 42/43, Position 5  without Sankō

Positions 1, 2, 4 & 5  are without sankō.  Other positions in same plate have sankō. See signed above.



Genuine with Wada Plate 44: 2 sen yellow with ribbon
Wada: Plate 44, Position 2  without Sankō

All positions of Plate 44 are unsigned.




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 yellow with tied ribbon – Design 123

States 1, 2, 3, & 5 (No. 44).

Characteristics of Design 123:

      1. South frame line of West value panel missing.
      2. Break in outer frame line.
Genuine 2 sen yellow tied ribbon with ABC: Design 123.




Japan Stamp Publicity Association


JSPA: 2 sen yellow with ribbon from sheet 7
JSPA  Sheet No. 7 Issued 10 July 1962

This stamp reproduces the genuine 2 sen yellow cherry blossom with ribbon, original issue of August 1875 on wove paper.  The reproduction is imperforate on cream-colored wove paper.

Click here to see more information about JSPA reproductions.