Rare 1945 Soviet overprints or fantasy stamps?

North Korea

In the September 2019 KSS Newsletter I showed a stamp from an Ebay auction. The stamp itself was not remarkable: a very common Japanese 8 sen stamp from the first Showa series (Sakura 229, Scott 265, 1939) with an overprint showing a “Rose of Sharon”, the Korean empire/kingdom flower showed to these days on South Korean stamps.

Several people replied to that particular item in the Newsletter. One reply came with a remarkable image:

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So, what do you think? Or what else do you know about these stamps? Please leave your comments below.

Ivo Spanjersberg
Currently KSS Publisher/Webmaster, previously KSS Chairman (2018-2019). Living in Amsterdam. I collect Korean revenue stamps, see my website:

5 thoughts on “Rare 1945 Soviet overprints or fantasy stamps?

  1. I am not an expert on the issue, however, I would say these are modern production. Otherwise, if we to believe the story about Soviet soldiers taking them home, single copies would have appeared in the Soviet philatelic market, and would have been known to philatelists (Russian / Soviet mail abroad is quite a popular theme in Russian, and well explored). Which never happened.

  2. According to the English translation: “these were on sale in the Japanese stamp trade in about 1947”, and the Japanese words says: Showa year 22 (1947) Japanese stamp dealers sold these…. How come Japanese dealers could get these stamps if they were brought back to USSR? I’d rather believe these were forged overprints made by Japanese locally….. 1947, just 2 years after WWII, as a loser in WWII, Japan was very poor then.

  3. Sorry I need to clarify my comment again, according to the words from Japanese Showa catalogue, these stamps were actually brought back to Japan, not USSR, after the end of WWII, by Japanese, not Russian soldiers, who lived in North Korea.
    That explained why these stamps were mentioned in Japan but not in USSR philatelic history. And they could be on sale in Japanese stamp trade in 1947. These were probably overprinted by Japanese citizens who lived in Korea at that time.

  4. My memories: these stamps are an old hoax and were offered in the US as well around 1947. And still resurface in old “far east” dealer stocks/remainders. However it has been stated, that they should pretend “Sovjet occupation of South Sakhaline” (aka Karafuto). – All the stories of sovjet soldiers involved and why and where are fabrications: they originated with contemporary japanese dealers.

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