April 1946 postwar usages of Postage Fee Paid forms with Japanese Showa and USAMGIK surcharges

South Korea

In 1919 the Japanese Posts introduced “Postage Fee Paid” forms. These forms were used to pay for various kinds of mail matter in bulk. The official Japanese postal term was 郵便料金受領証原符 = “Postage fee reception original form” and is imprinted on top. The actual mail items received a circular bisected handstamp in characters “(post office name)/postage fee separately paid” (…/料金別納). The postage fee was pasted to the forms, which where kept by the accepting post office for a prescribed storage period. The advantages were: for the customer, one did not have to paste a postage stamp to each single mail item, and for the post office workers, they did not have to postmark each single mail item with small denomination stamps, but just paste the full amount in higher value stamps on one form.

Introduced in Japan 1919.4.20 (Taisho 8.4.20)* as kittebetsunoyubin 切手別納郵便 (stamps paid separately mail). The entire postage was paid by stamps, often a whole sheet or a large block of stamps. By 1938.5.1 (Showa 12.5.1), cash payment became possible – postage stamps were still pasted to the forms, but in the case of cash payment, the stamps were from the post office’s own stamp stocks. Consequently the system was renamed ryokinbetsunoyubin 料金別納郵便 (“postage fee paid separately mail”). For international mail, the UPU named this system in French “Taxe Perçue” (T. P.) and it was introduced in Japan and territories on 1930.7.1.

This kind of bulk mail handling was continued by Korea Post and is still used today. Current forms and markings are with hangul syllabics, of course.

April 1946 usages from Seoul Kanghwamun (光花門) post office

Fig. 1: 1946.4.23, in red “No. 49
Fig. 2: Japan Showa series stamps 10 Y. (2), 1 Y. (4) with the shortlived Korea USAMGIK surcharge issue 30 Ch./27 S.(3) tied “光花門 Kanghwamun 46.4.23” to a 郵便料金受領証原符 = Postage fee reception original form. According to the notations, the total was 24,90 W./Y. for 4th class printed matters, 1 piece per 03g, 10 chon/sen 249 copies by 料金別納 postage fee paid by separately, dated 1946.4.23. – Notated payment amount and total of pasted stamps are a match.
Fig. 3: 1946.4.24, in red “No. 54”
Fig. 4: Showa 5 Y. (6) and 30 S. tied as above 46.4.25 etc. The total was 30,30 W. for: – 1st class standard registered letters 1 each per 40 chon/sen, 69 items;  – 1st class standard one each per 10 Chon 27 items. Both by “postage fee paid separately”. The amounts were 27.60 W. resp. 2.70 W., total 30,30 W. The ordinary Japanese 30 S. bluish green (showing a torii, wooden gate of the Japanese Shinto religion) was used.

There are more forms from this postal archive run postmarked March-May, 1946, almost all showing non-overprinted stamps. This probably means that the usage of the USAMGIK issued chon-surcharge stamps was shortlived, even at the large Kanghwamun P.O., probably due to small actual numbers, while sufficient non-overprinted old Japanese stamps in higher denominations were in stock. Non-overprinted old stamps were redrawn from counter sale after 1946.4.30 and became demonetized after 1946.6.30. USAMGIK surcharge stamps became invalid for postage after the same date.

* Spaulding, Dr. Robert M.: “Postage Paid Separately. IN: Japanese Philately Vol. 55, No. 3 (August 2000) p. 113.

Florian Eichhorn
Collects Japan, Korea Kingdom/Empire (covers/postmarks only) and ROK (covers only), China postmarks to 1949 and Dutch East Indies covers/postmarks as sideline.

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