A Post Card from Korea: A Poignant Relic from Colonial Korea

(A recent listing of a postcard on Ebay led to a series of emails amongst active KSS members. James Grayson, who lived for several decades in Korea and knows a lot about the history of churches in Korea, created this text, together with Florian Eichhorn, in answer to the questions raised.) This post card forms […]

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Reusing a 1946 postal card to create a 1950 postal ID

During the Korean War (1950-1953) and for at least a decade after the war South Korea (ROK) was counted amongst the poorest nations in the world. As late as the early 1960s the average Ethiopian or Ugandan was richer than the average South Korean. And yes, even the average North Korean was (probably) richer than […]

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ROK Samiljeol Commemorative Military Post Card used in 1952

Shown here is a military post card used in 1952. The card is a commemorative card, printed to commemorate “Samil Day”. The following extract about Samiljeol is from a 1943 booklet authored by New Ilhan entitled Korea and the Pacific War which was based on a report he prepared for the Office of Strategic Services […]

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Post cards commemorating the ROK 1955 Expo

Two post cards, part of a set commemorating the ROK 1955 Expo. These two post cards were made by the Huimangsa 希望社 · 製 for the industrial exhibition commemorating the tenth anniversary of liberation 解放十週年產業博覽會記念. This refers to August 15, 1945, commemorated in both the ROK and DPRK as the date Korea was liberated from […]

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When the war drums stop, so does the KSC

The Korea Stamp Corporation, the stamp issuing organization of the DPRK (North Korea), generally creates stamp along several lines of themes. One of those common themes is something along the lines of “the eternal fight for the motherland against our enemies”. The thing is: the official feelings towards these enemies, whomever they may be (usually […]

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Postal stationery used in Northern Korea (II): Japanese 5 sen Nanko card 1945-1947

Preface: This series of articles derive from discussions among several KSS member collectors. Some of them are interested in collecting Korean (and Japanese) philatelic items but feel confused in distinguishing different surcharges of early Korean postal stationeries since they cannot read Hanja and Hangul. See here for part I about the usage of these cards […]

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Postal stationery used in Northern Korea (I): Japanese colonial era 1944-1945

Preface: This series of articles derive from discussions among several KSS member collectors. Some of them are interested in collecting Korean (and Japanese) philatelic items but feel confused in distinguishing different surcharges of early Korean postal stationeries since they cannot read Hanja and Hangul.

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South Korea’s Early Proof and Presentation Sheets Addendum

One area of collecting of Korean philatelic material that is out of reach financially (and availability) are the proof and presentation sheets that South Korea issued in very limited numbers beginning with the 1946 set honouring the Liberation from the Japanese. These were never listed in Scott’s because they were not sold to the public […]

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Korean cartoon “Gobau Inspiration” (1950 – 2000)

“고바우 영감” or “Gobau Inspiration” was a cartoon series created by Kim Sung-hwan (김성환) wich first appeared in the weekly magazine Manga Shinbo (만화신보) in 1950. From February 1, 1955 Gobau was serialized in the Dong-a Ilbo, an important national newspaper. In 1980, the cartoon moved after 25 years to the Chosun Ilbo, another national […]

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Use of APO services by non-military organizations in Korea in the 1940-1950s

Affording missionary organisations the facility of using APO numbers was something that began with the US occupation of South Korea after WW2. The USA Military Government in Korea started its own parallel Army Post Office organisation on landing in September 1945. Approved missionary organisations, together with commercial suppliers to the military (usually Korean subsidiaries of […]

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Korea’s economic development through postal history (Saemaul Undong Card, 1978)

Part of a series of 5 cards issued at 10 won each in 1978 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the (South) Korean state, this card (CPC4) shows an important development in South Korean society. During the 1960s and 1970s South Korea tried to develop its economy. No efforts were spared to create a stronger […]

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The Korean Language and How to Read DPRK Military Postcards

For anyone studying Korean postage stamps and postal stationery, understanding the structure of the Korean language and the Korean alphabet will enrich the understanding of any material which you have. The Korean language is highly structured and regular. Some sixty percent of its vocabulary derives from written Chinese (called in Korean Hanja 漢字).

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Paquebot mail from Dutch frigate during the Korean War

The printed matter (“Drukwerk”) cover shown here was mailed aboard the frigate Hr. Ms. ”Johan Maurits van Nassau” in January 1953. Its destination was Yokohama, Japan. The frigate was on assignment in Korean waters during the Korean War. Upon the frigate’s arrival on January 22, 1953 in Yokohama, Japan the letter was delivered to a […]

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Korean Souvenir Books and Reprints issues of 1903-1906 (Part III: Additional Souvenir Books)

In addition to the early editions souvenir books, different types of souvenir books were issued up until 1938 by the Japanese government and later by the South Korean government. Kerr has the only list of these souvenir books that is known in English and it goes through 1961. On Page 71-2 of his book, he […]

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