Oh wow, Rod... this is an educational process!
I didn't know that eggs were exported as much as silk thread and woven products!! The top can images by dandow
, the second page shows "material thread" and the third page show "Habutai" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habutai),
but I didn't imagine they were inspecting eggs...
OK, let me roughly read the page "Silk Worms Eggs 1872-1877"
These revenue stamps were made to collect inspection fees for exporting worm eggs placed on top of paper cards, and also show when the inspection was done.
When European silk worms had disease spread and almost extinct in Italy and France, a Frenchman brought sample eggs from China and Japan in 1864. They were successful and trading demands occurred, then exporting volume were grown every year.
Trade price went up and down by demands and supply.
Exporting price went a lot more than the nation's consumption, so it became a profitable business when a million cards were exported per year.
At the beginning there were 2 eggs card inspector in Yokohama port. 7 more were added in a few years time, altogether 9 officials names were used to inspect and certified.
When some people started to be whole-seller and mediator for trade and producer's profits were reduced, some bad guys started to cheat to mix dead eggs with fake shine treatment or even attached sesame seeds on cards. Those had made a harsh rejection from European buyers, made a rapid price falls and trading chaos. Edo Shogunate sent some officials to each district to watch, but at the end of Edo era, the whole society was in chaos.
New Meiji government started to control it, and made regulation of checking everything in Tokyo before export from Yokohama. But as it was doubled their transport and bad efficiency, it didn't work well.
Paragraph 8 (new paragraph on the right)
In September 1869 the inspection points were opened in each port for export, and new tax rate was decided. Also a new Raw was launched in August 1870, more detailed structure was planned to make the quality check, also to collect export tax.
In October 1870, the rule was fixed and each prefecture offices had received red stamp (pictured)
In 1872 the rule was revised, and (finally!!) introduced revenue stamps in 2 kinds. They were the first revenue stamps authorised by the modern government, and 8 months after the first Japanese postage stamps. They were printed in Tokyo and sent to each prefecture, and also changed many times in the following years. Those did not have denomination, but issued years were on.
These Die Proof of Meiji 5 (1872), non-perforated with Western paper, are known only one each.
Dead eggs with fake shine!!
Ah, it was a piece of history I learnt via stamps