Cherry Blossoms: 1 sen Blue or Brown with Syllabics

Genuine

Blue on foreign paper, Scott #33 and Sakura #29 issued February 1874 syllabics イ (i-1).  ロ (ro-2),  ハ (ha-3),  ニ  (ni-4),   ホ  (ho-5),  ヘ (he-6),   ト  (to-7),  チ (chi-8),   リ (ri-9),   ヌ (nu-10),   ル  (ru-11),  ヲ (wo-12) .  Issued February 1874.
Brown on foreign paper,  Scott #41 and Sakura #42 with syllabics ホ (ho-5), ト  (to-7), チ (chi-8), ヲ (wo-12), ワ  (wa-13),  カ (ka-14),  ヨ (yo-15),  タ (ta-16),  and レ  (re-17).  Issued 5 February 1875.
Size  19 1/2 mm x 22 1/2 mm

Genuine Stamps:

  1. Blue only – Syllabics:イ (i-1).  ロ (ro-2),  ハ (ha-3),  ニ  (ni-4),  ヘ (he-6),  リ (ri-9), ヌ(nu-10), and ル (ru-11).  Any stamp in brown with these syllabics is a phantom forgery.
  2. *Blue & brown  – Syllabics:  ホ (ho-5),  ト (to-7), チ (chi-8) and  ヲ (wo-12).
  3. Brown only  – Syllabics: ワ  (wa-13),  カ (ka-14),  ヨ (yo-15),  タ (ta-16),  レ  (re-17). Any stamp in blue with these syllabics is a phantom forgery.

*These old blue plates were used to print the color change to brown in 1875.

There are no known stamp forgeries with syllabics  ニ  (ni-4),   ヘ (he-6), ト (to-7),  ヌ(nu-10), and ル (ru-11).  However there is genuine postal stationery with syllabics  ニ  (ni-4), and ト (to-7)  that could be perforated to look like a stamp.  Be sure and check the postal stationery features below.   There is a known forgery with syllabic ネ (ne-20) and that syllabic in either color is a phantom and never genuinely issued.

 
 

Syllabics in Blue Color Only

Cherry Blossom: 1 sen blue, syllabic イ (i-1)
Syllabic イ (i-1)
Cherry Blossom: 1 sen blue, syllabic ロ (ro-2)
Syllabic ロ (ro-2)
Cherry Blossom: 1 sen blue, syllabic ハ (ha-3)
Syllabic ハ (ha-3)
Cherry Blossom: 1 sen blue, syllabic ニ (ni-4)
Syllabic ニ (ni-4)
Cherry Blossom: 1 sen blue, syllabic リ (ri-9)
Syllabic リ (ri-9)​

Syllabics in both Blue and Brown Colors

Cherry Blossom: 1 sen blue, syllabic ホ (ho-5)
Syllabic ホ (ho-5)
Cherry Blossom: 1 sen brown, syllabic ト (to-7)
Syllabic ト (to-7)
Cherry Blossom: 1 sen blue, syllabic チ (chi-8)
Syllabic  チ (chi-8)
Cherry Blossom: 1 sen brown, syllabic ヲ (wo-12)
Syllabic ヲ (wo-12)

Syllabics in Brown Color only

Cherry Blossom: 1 sen brown, syllabic ワ (wa-13)
Syllabic ワ (wa-13)
Cherry Blossom: 1 sen brown, syllabic カ (ka-14)
Syllabic カ (ka-14)
Cherry Blossom: 1 sen brown, syllabic ヨ (yo-15)
Syllabic ヨ (yo-15)
Cherry Blossom: 1 sen brown, syllabic タ (ta-16)
Syllabic タ (ta-16)
Cherry Blossom: 1 sen brown, syllabic レ (re-17)
Syllabic レ (re-17)

Postal Stationery

Anyone, at any time, can add fake perforations to a piece of postal stationery and there is no way of knowing how many times this has occurred or is occurring. The paper of the stamped envelopes resembles that of the foreign wove paper of the stamps.  The syllabic in all the genuine postal stationery items, both envelopes and postal cards is in a hexagonal box.  The syllabic in all the genuine stamps is in a rectangular box.  There are no 1 sen postal stationery issues in brown.

Genuine 1 sen blue: stamp and stamped envelopes
Genuine 1 sen blue: stamp and postal cards
  • First Issue 1 sen Blue Stamped Envelopes:
    • Syllabics: イ (i-1). ロ (ro-2), ト  (to-7).
    • Central Characters: “Yūbin Kitte” (郵便 切手) or “Postage Stamp”.
  • Second Issue 1 sen Blue Stamped Envelopes:
    • Syllabics: イ (i-1), and ヘ (he-6).
    • Central Characters: Yūbin Fūhi” (郵便 封皮) or “Postage Envelope”.
  • First Issue 1 sen Blue Postal Card with Red Border:
    • Syllabics: イ (i-1).  ロ (ro-2),  ハ (ha-3),  and ニ  (ni-4).
    • Central Characters: “Yubin Kitte” (郵便 切手) or “Postage Stamp”.
  • Second Issue 1 sen Blue Postal Card with Blue Border:
    • Syllabics:  イ (i-1) only.
    • Central Characters: Yubin Fuhi” (郵便 切手) or “Postage Stamp”
  • Third Issue 1 sen Blue Postal Card with Blue Border:
    • Syllabics: ロ (ro-2 — エ (e-34).
    • Central Characters: Yubin Fuhi” (郵便 はがき) or “Postage Card”

Examples of Postal Stationery Forgeries

 

Forger postal stationery syllabic イ (i-1) then perforated to look like a stamp.
Syllabic イ (i-1)
  1. Forged piece of postal stationery.
  2. Forged central inscription like that of genuine stamps.
  3. Forged perforations.
  4. Syllabic in hexagonal box.

 

Genuine 1 sen blue postal stationery ホ (ho-5) perforated to look like a stamp.
Syllabic ホ  (ho-5)
  1. Genuine 3rd issue of postal card.
  2. Genuine cancel.
  3. Genuine central characters never used on stamps.
  4. Forged perforations.
  5. Syllabic in hexagonal box
Genuine 1 sen blue postal stationery ト (to-7), perforated to look like a stamp.
Syllabic ト (to-7)
  1. Genuine 1st issue of stamped envelope.
  2. Central characters used on genuine stamps.
  3. Forged perforations.
  4. Syllabic in hexagonal box.

Differences Between Genuine and Forged

  • A:  Genuine: The three top paulownia blossoms are usually slightly separated at the base. Forgeries: They are joined at a common base in most forgeries.
  • B:  Genuine: The lowest blossom on the right side is almost always attached to the left stem. Forgeries: It  is attached to the right stem.
  • C:  Genuine: The stem between the second and fourth paulownia leaves shows in the genuine.   Forgeries: It often is not seen.
Cherry Blossom 1 sen blue: genuine and forgery characteristics.

 

Signed” Forgeries

Wada Plate 2

 

 

 

 

Three different syllabics: position 1 – syllabic イ (i-1) , position 2 – syllabic ロ (ro-2). and postion 3  –  ハ (ha-3).  Positions 4, 5, and 6 all had crossed branches. In all positions, the sankō is near frame line on each side under the corner ornaments.

 

Wada Plate 2: cherry blossom 1 sen blue syllabic イ (i-1).
 
Wada:  Plate 2, Position 1

Syllabic イ (i-1)

Wada Plate 2:: cherry blossom 1 sen blue syllabic ロ (ro-2).
 
Wada:  Plate 2,  Positions 2

Syllabic ロ (ro-2)

 

Wada Plate 2: cherry blossom 1 sen blue syllabic ハ (ha-3).
 
Wada: Plate 2, Position 3

Syllabic ハ (ha-3)

Wada Plate 17

  • State 1:  all positions are syllabic ホ  (ho-5) in brown only. Sankō vertically above syllabic in color of stamp.
  • State 2:   all positions are syllabic ホ  (ho-5) in brown only.  Sankō in black on each side about in the middle of the central characters.
  • State 3:   positions 1-3 with syllabic ホ  (ho-5).  Positions 4-6 crossed branches.  All positions printed in both blue and brown and have mozō horizontally below central characters
  • State 4:  positions 1 & 2 with syllabic ホ  (ho-5) .  Position 3 & 6 – tied with ribbon.  Position 4 & 5 -crossed branches.  Small sankō on either side of top characters.  Brown only.
  • State 5:  Same as state 4, but with leaves retouched. The small sankō is almost invisible.

 

 

Wada Plate 17: cherry blossom 1 sen brown, state 1, syllabic ホ (ho-5).
 
Wada Plate 17, State 1

Syllabic ホ (ho-5), sankō vertically above syllabic in color of stamp. Brown only.

Wada Plate 17: cherry blossom 1 sen brown, state 2, syllabic ホ (ho-5).
 
Wada Plate 17,  State 2

Syllabic ホ (ho-5) in brown only. Sankō in black on each side about in the middle of the central characters.

 

Wada Plate 17: cherry blossom 1 sen blue, state 3, syllabic ホ (ho-5).
 
Wada Plate 17,  State 3, in Blue

Positions 1-3 with syllabic ホ (ho-5).  Mozō horizontally below central characters.

 

Wada Plate 17: cherry blossom 1 sen brown, state 3, syllabic ホ (ho-5).
 
Wada Plate 17,   State 3,  in Brown

Positions 1-3 with syllabic ホ (ho-5).  Mozō horizontally below central characters.

 

Wada Plate 17: cherry blossom 1 sen brown, state 4, syllabic ホ (ho-5).
 
Wada Plate 17,   State 4

Positions 1 & 2 with syllabic ホ (ho-5). Small sankō on either side of top characters. Brown only.

 

Wada Plate 17: cherry blossom 1 sen brown, state 5, syllabic ホ (ho-5).
 
Wada Plate 17,   State 5

Same as state 4, but with leaves retouched. The small sankō is almost invisible.

 

Mihon Type 1; cherry blossom 1 sen brown, syllabic ホ (ho-5).
 
Mihon Type 1

Syllabic ホ (ho-5), brown only, 16 petals in crest.

Mihon Type 2; cherry blossom 1 sen brown, syllabic ホ (ho-5).
 
Mihon Type 2

Syllabic ホ (ho-5), brown only, 15 petals in crest.

Mihon Type 3; cherry blossom 1 sen brown, syllabic ホ (ho-5).
 
Mihon Type 3

Syllabic ホ (ho-5), brown only, 14 petals in crest.

Maeda; cherry blossom 1 sen blue with sankō, syllabic ホ (ho-5).
 
Maeda in Blue

Syllabic ホ (ho-5), sankō vertically above syllabic box.

Maeda; cherry blossom 1 sen brown with sankō, syllabic ホ (ho-5).
 
Maeda in Brown

Syllabic ホ (ho-5), sankō vertically above syllabic box.

Genuine Stamp with “Unsigned” Forgeries

Wada Plate 18

Wada’s plate 18 was of 8 positions all with  different syllabics in each position on the plate.  Thus, when he printed in blue all syllabics were blue.  If he printed in brown, all the syllabics were brown.  The  genuine, of course, had one plate (or more) for one syllabic and only a few plates were used to print in both colors.  These plates had syllabics ホ ho-5), ト  (to-7), チ (chi-8) and ヲ (wo-12) only.

Wada’s plate 18 had some significant design errors on a few positions (syllabics) and some of these errors were retouched and became state 2.  The retouched stamps had syllabics ヲ (wo-12), ワ  (wa-13) and タ (ta-16),

  • Forgeries state 1 syllabicsホ (ho-5)ヲ (wo-12)ワ  (wa-13),  カ (ka-14)ヨ (yo-15),  タ (ta-16),  and レ  (re-17) and   ネ  (ne-20).
    • Colors of genuine:
      • Blue only:  No plate 18 forgeries had the same syllabics as genuine stamps that were printed in blue only..
      • Blue and brown:  syllabic ホ (ho-5) and  ヲ (wo-12) in both the genuine and Wada plate 18.  Wada did not use ト  (to-7) orチ (chi-8) in this plate.
      • Brown only syllabicsワ  (wa-13), カ (ka-14),  ヨ (yo-15)タ (ta-16),  and  and レ  (re-17), All in blue are phantoms.
      • Neither color:  ネ  (ne-20).  Phantom in both colors.  Syllabic ネ  (ne-20) was never used on the genuine 1 sen issue.
  • Forgeries state 2:  same as 1 state except that syllabic  ヲ (wo-12), ワ  (wa-13), and タ (ta-16) have corrections to errors found in state 1.

Blue & Brown

Blue and brown:  syllabic ホ (ho-5) and  ヲ (wo-12)

Wada Plate 18: cherry blossom 1 sen brown or blue, state 1, syllabic ホ (ho-5).
Wada:  Plate 18,  Syllabic  ホ (ho-5)

Arrows in Red: General characters of most forgeries described above.

Arrows in Black:  Plate 18 Wada error – dot missing above SW cherry blossom. Never corrected.

 

Wada Plate 18: cherry blossom 1 sen brown or blue, state 1 & 2, syllabic ヲ (wo-12).
Wada:  Plate 18, Syllabic ヲ (wo-12)

Arrows in Red: General characters of most forgeries described above.

Arrows in Black:  Plate 18 Wada error – 1) SE cherry blossom, shading missing in petals and 2) shading missing in SE corner ornament.  Error 2 was fixed in state 2 with very light lines, but error 1 was never fixed.

 

Brown

Syllabic ワ  (wa-13) and タ (ta-16) with state 2 retouches.

 

Wada Plate 18: cherry blossom 1 sen brown, state 1and 2, syllabic ワ (wa-13).
Wada:  Plate 18, Syllabic  ワ  (wa-13)

Arrows in Red: General characters of most forgeries described above.

Arrows in Black:  Plate 18 Wada major error – faint or missing veins in leaf in state 1.  Corrected in state 2, but the vein lines are very faint.

 

 
Wada: Plate 18, 1 sen brown syllabic タ (ta-16), state 1 & 2
Wada:  Plate 18, Syllabic  タ (ta-16)

Arrows in Red: General characters of most forgeries described above.

Arrows in Black:  Plate 18 Wada error –  state 1 – vertical line missing in second central characters down from the top. Corrected in state 2.

 

 

 Syllabics カ (ka-14),  ヨ (yo-15),  レ  (re-17) and ネ  (ne-20 – phantom).

Wada: Plate 18, 1 sen brown syllabic カ (ka-14)
Wada:  Plate 18, Syllabic  カ (ka-14)

 

 
Wada: Plate 18, l sen brown syllabic ヨ (yo-15)
Wada:  Plate 18, Syllabic  ヨ (yo-15)

 

 
Wada: Plate 18, 1 sen brown syllabic レ (re-17)
Wada:  Plate 18, Syllabic  レ  (re-17)

 

 
Wada: Plate 18, 1 sen blue or brown syllabic ネ (ne-20 – phantoms)
Wada:  Plate 18, Syllabic  ネ  (ne-20 – phantoms)

 

 
Ramsden: l sen brown syllabic ヨ (yo-15)
 
Ramsden, Syllabic ヨ (yo-15)
 

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.

Genuine 1 sen blue sylllabic リ with ABC Design 112-A

ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) 1 sen blue syllabic リ (ri-9) – Design 112-A

States 1, 2,3 and 5 (No. 24). State 4 (no number).

Genuine 1 sen brwon syllabic チ with ABC Design 112-B & 112-C

ABC Kurabu (ABC Club) 1 sen brown syllabic チ (chi-8) – Designs 112-B & 112-C

States 1 & 2 (No. 35): Design 112-B. States 3 & 5 (No. 35): Design 112-C.

Characteristics of Design 112-A:

  1. Breaks.

Characteristics of Design 112-B

  1. Leaf not attached.
  2. Breaks.

Characteristics of Design 112-C

  1. Small slip.
  2. Petal thick and projects to N.

Reproductions

 

1912 Tayama Reproduction

 

 

Tayama: 1912 Sheet 1

 

This 1 sen Cherry Blossom brown stamp with with syllabic カ is found in sheet 1 included with the 1912 issue of the Communications Law Monthly Report. Type 2 Cancel.

Inscriptions translate:
1 sen pale red
Issued: Meiji 8.2 (February 1875);
Off Sale: Meiji 9.5 (May 1876);
Invalidated: Meiji 22. 11 (November 1889)

Click here to see more information about Tayama reproductions.

 

 

 

 

JSPA Reproductions

 

 

Genuine with JSPA 1 sen blue syllabic イ (i-1)
JSPA  Sheet No. 8 Issued 15 October 1962

Reproduces the genuine 1 sen blue Cherry Blossom stamp originally issued  February 1874 on wove paper.  The reproduction is imperforate on cream-colored wove paper.

Click here to see more information about JSPA reproductions.

 
Genuine with JSPA 1 sen blue syllabic カ (ka-14)
JSPA  Sheet No. 6 Issued 20 May 1962

Reproduces the genuine 1 sen brown Cherry Blossom stamp originally issued 4 February 1875 on wove paper.  The reproduction is imperforate on cream-colored wove paper.

 Click here to see more information about JSPA reproductions.