Receipt for pre-paid mail (UPDATE)

Other stamps South Korea

The front cover of Kiku Shimbun 170 (December 2016) The front cover features a rare item of Japanese postal history from South Korea. Following the end of WWII and the Japanese Surrender, USA Forces moved into Seoul, Korea, whilst Soviet Forces move from Manchuria in the northern parts of Korea. 

Front cover of Kiku Shimbun 170 (December 2016).
Front cover of Kiku Shimbun 170 (December 2016).

In South Korea initially the USA Military took control of the postal system, then mainly run by Japanese and Korean workers, Korea prior to the war-end was a territory of Japan and therefore used the stamps of Japan for all mail, thus at the war end only the existing stocks of Japanese stamps were available and had to be used sparingly. Japanese postcards also existed, but again with new postal rates, required additional stamps to meet that new rate but sometimes not available. Thus the USA Military authorities ordered from Japan the overprinting of Japanese stamps in values to meet the South Korean postal rates. Initially there were 6 Japanese Showa stamps overprinted with new values 5 chon on 5sen, 5 chon on 14 sen, 10 chon on 40 sen, 20 chon on 6 sen, 30 chon on 27 sen, and 5 won on 17 sen.

The Receipt form shown on the front page shows such an item, this being from the main Post Office at Kwanghwamun in Seoul, and is franked in two different transactions of mail prepayment No. 21 with 7 x 50 sen, 1 re-valued stamp 10 chon on 40 sen, showing a transaction income of just 3 yen 60 sen at this busy post office. The form is now an item in my Showa collection, being acquired at JAPEX’2016 from the stock of BSJP member / dealer Kobayashi-san.

Translation was by Nicholas Pertwee, to whom I must thank for this information. This Receipt is a very interesting item of postal history of South Korea. The full details and illustrations of this item are detailed within this issue of Kiku Shimbun.

Kiku Shimbun and the British Society for Japanese Philately (BSJP)
This article was reprinted with permission from the editor of the Kiku Shimbun. The Kiku Shimbun is the magazine of the British Society for Japanese Philately (BSJP). For more information please see the website of the BSJP.

UPDATE: because of James Grayson’s question Ken Clark sent two new scans of this document. These show the front and back of the document, showing how the characters and the (back of the) stamps can be seen through the very thin paper.

Front of the document.
Back of the document.
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2 thoughts on “Receipt for pre-paid mail (UPDATE)

  1. The two items in article 170 are very strange. The background on which the stamps have been printed has been reversed, while the stamps themselves are printed correctly. I’m not sure how this could happen !!

  2. The stamps are on the back of the form, but the form was made of such thin paper you can see straight through it. And that’s why it seems the hanja were written “in reverse”.

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