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Valued Member
France
8 Posts
Posted 03/31/2020   11:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Wedge632 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello everyone,

I've decided to open a post where everything Japanese can be discussed. We can share our common knowledge of Japanese stamps, show our collection and ask questions.
I would also like to add any valuable identification of fakes here.
Also, I have access to Japanese resources and can help (with the limitation of my abilities) with identification and translation.

For this first post, I will be posting two example of clear forgeries.

The first: Koban, Five Sen, with obvious cancellation forgery, as exposed by the red circles on the picture. It is my understanding and after researching a bit via specialised sites that one of the many ways to identify Koban forgeries, and perhaps one of the most obvious, is to look for a forged postmark or cancellation. In the example below, the cancellation is incomplete, it stops at the edge of the stamp leaving un-inked or white areas where the cancel should normally expand to the medium on which the stamp was applied.
These cases of forgeries are most often met on the infamous "souvenir sheets", but these sheets being well known now, unscrupulous dealers, or unaware collectors will sometimes mix genuine stamps and forgeries altogether.
To note as well the ink of the forged postmark is slightly off when looked at carefully. While most Japanese black cancels have a deep black dye, on this here forgery the ink has a silvery and uneven dye. (similar to the reflection of strong pencil strokes)



The second example: Eight Sen. Here the proofs of forgery are in two forms. First to the left, and while less obvious than on the previous example, we meet again the faulty cancel mark and the silvery ink. Second, moving on to the left and right of the center in the two yellow circles we can identify two Kanji, meaning "Sanko" or facsimile or imitation. (cf:https://isjp.org/introduction/)
It appears that a wide variety of early Japanese classic stamps bear these kanji somewhat hidden on the stamp, as the IJSP better explains in its forgery articles.


More will come on forgeries as I have recently encountered nonperf forgeries and would like to share with you on that matter.

As this is my first post, do let me know in PM if I have made any mistakes in editing or anything else. Thank you in advance.
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Edited by Wedge632 - 03/31/2020 11:21 am

Valued Member
Canada
31 Posts
Posted 03/31/2020   2:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bicolor1875 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My blog shows kobans of all sorts ...

Spiro kobans are current study /

https://kobans.blogspot.com/?view=timeslide
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Valued Member
France
8 Posts
Posted 04/13/2020   07:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Wedge632 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you very much for the blog link.

I hold any of these as forgeries unless told otherwise. What do you think? If forgeries, could you point the areas to look at for clues. Thank you in advance.








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Valued Member
Learn More...
United States
437 Posts
Posted 04/13/2020   8:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EMaxim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting and helpful posts for those of us with much to learn about these beautiful early Japanese stamps. Hope others will contribute.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
534 Posts
Posted 04/13/2020   9:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add danko to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not an expert in these at all, but judging by their poor quality (trimmed perfs, thins, stuck paper) it looks like these stamps had actually seen postal usage, may not be the forgeries.
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Valued Member
United States
69 Posts
Posted 04/13/2020   11:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add restoman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply



Here are two more forgeries from the same period. The amazing thing about these forgeries is that the stamp image does not continue behind the cancellation!

On the left stamp there is a very clear white crescent inside the outer circle of the cancellation. On the right stamp there is a similar white edge along the outer side of the inner circle.

I believe at least one of the stamps you show was printed this way also.

My guess as to why the forgeries were printed this way is that the printers did not want to run afoul of the government and be accused of counterfeiting. The way these forgeries are printed, at any stage of the printing, the stamps can not be mistaken for unused postage. With just the color image printed there would be very clear white gaps where the cancellation was to be applied. Once the black cancellation is printed, the stamps no longer would appear to be unused, so the government can't lose revenue with these forgeries. Of course unwitting collectors could still be duped!

The stamp images are rather crude when compared to genuine examples.

I look forward to more posts in this topic!
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Valued Member
France
8 Posts
Posted 04/14/2020   08:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Wedge632 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you very much restoman. You are right! I actually didn't notice until now. Your stamps just like the 8Sen Koban in my first post does not have a stamp printed, then a cancellation applied on top, but rather the stamp is printed with a deliberate space for the cancellation to be printed. Very interesting.

Very pertinent remark on the reasons as to why such stamps were printed this way.

Also your black 1Sen has one of the "forgery" kanji, bottom right side of the lower leaf, above the letters SE of "Japanese".
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Edited by Wedge632 - 04/14/2020 10:26 am
Pillar Of The Community
United States
4773 Posts
Posted 04/14/2020   10:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting pages.....I have a few ....worked on mine about 42 years ago .Did work on plating them .
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United States
437 Posts
Posted 04/14/2020   10:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EMaxim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nice explanation, Restoman: makes sense. And why else would anyone omit portions of the design? Points again to the idea that these stamps are not so much forgeries as facsimiles, though for unwitting collectors (of whom there must be many) the effect feels the same.

Also, I'd like to know more about the kanji that indicate a facsimile. What do they look like and where to look for them? My collection is still small, so a comprehensive review would be a manageable project. And now a more interesting one.
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Pillar Of The Community
France, Metropolitan
2660 Posts
Posted 04/14/2020   11:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add perf12 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wedge632_ the 4 stamps you posted are all forgeries.They all have the wrong curls,thin lines,characters,numeral shapes;just so many things.(In the sen stamp ;thick lines).
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Valued Member
France
8 Posts
Posted 04/14/2020   11:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Wedge632 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For the Kanji indicating it is a forgery or a facsimile, according to the ISJP, they look as such:


(source ISJP, https://isjp.org/introduction/)

Again, according to the ISJP, stamps with the said kanji must be recognised as two separate categories. Stamps with obvious "Mihon" (facsimile) printed on or behind the stamps, are official reproductions circulated for sampling.
Then there are the stamps with the said kanji and variations (Sanko or Mozo), but which are purposefully hidden within the stamp print to fool unaware tourists (as these stamps were originally used on souvenir sheets for tourists and the like).
Another word of caution, due to the extent of Japanese classic stamps forgeries, the absence of such kanji does not indicate the stamp is an original.

As for the position of the Kanjis on the stamps, they vary depending on the stamp. I invite you to have a look at these links which give a pretty comprehensive guideline as to where to look. https://isjp.org/introduction/

For reference, the Kanji can be as obvious as the two Kanjis in the yellow circles on each side of the oval ring on the stamp.


But can also be more subtly included making it harder to spot.

(source ISJP, https://isjp.org/1-4-sen/
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Valued Member
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United States
437 Posts
Posted 04/14/2020   12:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EMaxim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you, Wedge632. Very helpful, those links as well.

Question: The two kanjis in the circles of the eight sen above don't look to me like any of the three most common that you reproduce. Are they different types or am I merely missing something?
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
4773 Posts
Posted 04/14/2020   12:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
YES ,Emaxim ,there are plate varieties in the above WADA forgery.
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Valued Member
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United States
437 Posts
Posted 04/14/2020   3:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EMaxim to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great. As if Ottoman tughra or Chinese overprints weren't difficult enough. Still, it's what makes collecting something more than just accumulating.

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Valued Member
France
8 Posts
Posted 04/14/2020   5:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Wedge632 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The Kanjis in my 8 Sen is San ko, just kanji in old stamps is written and read from right to left, for some reason. The Romaji, or European characters are read and written as we all know from left to right, but Japanese is either written and read from left to right when horizontal, but is written and read from right to left when vertical.

Old Japanese stamps seem to be written and read from right to left. I have yet to figure out why as well as when this stopped for modern Japanese stamps are now written and read from left to right.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
804 Posts
Posted 04/14/2020   5:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Philatarium to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wedge632: Horizontal writing switched from right to left at the end of World War 2 as part of a package of language reforms. (I was looking for a specific citation to post here and back me up, but can't find one quickly, and I have to be out this afternoon.) But wanted to at least briefly answer your question.
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-- Japan, Korea, Trucial States, Swiss booklets & more on HipStamp: https://www.hipstamp.com/store/the-philatarium

long-term member: American Philatelic Society, Int'l Society for Japanese Philately, & others
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