The rarest Korean Christmas seal is the “unissued” Children and Snowy Mountains of 1940. The brief story how it became rare is told by Stephen Hasegawa in the following article that is in his 2006 catalogue of “Dr. Sherwood Hall’s Christmas and New Year Seals of Korea”. As noted in the article, in 2006, only 46 seals were known to exist. The catalogue value in 2006 was US$5000 for a single copy.
At the time, due to military regulations, no images of structures over 20 meters in Korea where allowed by the Japanese to be published. This was most likely due to the war and information that might be shown for potential military actions. If any of our readers know more about these regulations, it would be good information to share. Because of the mountains shown in the original seals of 1940, the Japanese military confiscated most of these seals.
Following the article, are illustrations of the “unissued” 1940 seal without the gate and the “issued” 1940 seal that was approved by the Japanese military. Please note that the article and illustrations below are copyrighted and published with the permission of Mr. Hasegawa.
2 thoughts on “Story of the Rarest Korean Christmas Seal and the Japanese Military Confiscation before WWII in 1940”
I can across this article while I was checking out some of my wife’s family history. Her grandfather was a missionary in Chosen (Japanese occupied North Korea). Among the things we have from this time period is set of letters from Chosen to various family members. On the back of two of these letters (going to India, and opened by British Censors) were the “unissued” seals depicted above. These letters are from 1940. I would be happy to send you photos of them.
Hi Ed, that would be fantastic. Robert