Japan Anniversary Stamps

Below a selection of commemorative Japan anniversary stamps from the last couple of years.

As mentioned in our overview on Japan commemorative stamps, the Japan post service regularly issues a nice variety of special anniversary and event Japanese stamps.

Please have a look at all the Japan stamps and their background story. Of course, if you would like to add one of these Japanese postage stamps to your collection, please note that all Japan anniversary stamps displayed are for sale as well.


Japan Anniversary Stamps - Horse Racing in Japan - History of 150 Years

On the occasion of 150 years of horse racing in Japan, the Japan Post Service is to issue a special Japan anniversary stamps sheet.

Horse racing has become a major sport in Japan. It is organized by the Japan Racing Association (JRA) and the National Association of Racing (NRA).

The JRA is responsible for the events held in the major metropolitan areas, whereas, the NRA is responsible for local horse racing events throughout the country.

Major race events are: Japan Cup, Arima Kinen, Tokyo Yushun, Satsuki Sho, Kikuka Sho, Tenno Sho, and Takarazuka Kinen.

The Japan commemorative stamps below show famous horses in the 150th history of racing in Japan.

  1. Orfevre, French for 'goldsmith.' It won the Triple Crown in 2011 and was the 2011 JRA Award Horse of the Year.
  2. Apapane, 2010 Japanese Fillies Triple Crown Winner.
  3. Deep Impact: famous thoroughbred champion racehorse that won seven domestic grade 1 races including all the races of the Japanese Triple Crown (Satsuki Sho, Tokyo Yushun, and Kikuka Sho).,
  4. Still in Love, 2003 Japanese Fillies Triple Crown Winner.
  5. Narita Brian, 1991-1998, Triple Crown Winner and voted Japanese Horse of the Year in 1994. He died in 1998 of gastric rupture and was declared 'Horse of the 20th Century' in Japan.
  6. Mejiro L'Amone, 1983-2005, 1986 Fillies Triple Crown Winner and JRA Colt of the Year in 1987.
  7. Symboli Rudolf, 1981-2011, another Triple Crown Winner in 1984 and inducted into the JRA Hall of Fame in 1987.
  8. Mr. C.B., 1980-2000, was another thoroughbred who won the Triple Crown in 1983. He was inducted into the JRA Hall of Fame in 1986. He died of old age in 2000.
  9. Shinzan, 1961-1996. He won the Japanese Triple Crown in 1964 and was also named Horse of the Year. Considered the best post-war race horse, Shinzan died in Hokkaido at the age of 35. He is the longest lived thoroughbred ever recorded in Japan.
  10. St. Lite, 1938-1965, became the first Triple Crown winner in 1941. He died from decrepitude in 1965. In 1984, he was inducted into the JRA Hall of Fame.

This Japan anniversary stamps sheet is issued on October 2, 2012.

Price: US$ 16.00 (incl. shipping)


Japan Anniversary Stamps - 60th Anniversary of the National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo

2012 commemorates the 60th anniversary of the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the first national museum. In addition, 2013 will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto.

These Japan anniversary stamps were issued to celebrate both occasions.

The Tokyo museum was the first of its kind in Japan dating back to 1952. Its collection of art contains many notable Japanese artists since the Meiji period, as well as, a few contemporary Western prints.

The national museum in Kyoto was initially created as the annex museum to Tokyo. It was established in 1963 and four years later in 1967, it became the National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto. The museum is devoted to the collection and preservation of artworks and related reference materials of the 20th century in Japan and other parts of the world.

The stamp sheet contains 10 individual Japan commemorative stamps illustrating various works of art. They are:

  1. 'Serving girl at a spa' (left screen) by Tsuchida Bakusen
  2. 'Serving girl at a spa' (right screen) by Tuschida Bakusen
  3. 'Girl' by Mimani Kunzo
  4. 'Portrait of San Yutei Encho' by Kaburaki Kiyokata
  5. 'Road cut through a hill' by Ryusei Kishida
  6. 'Mother and child' by Uemura Shoen
  7. 'Reading by the window' by Ota Kijiro
  8. 'Peonies at a back garden after rain' by Tokuoka Shinsen
  9. 'Seated Woman' by Yasui Sotaro
  10. 'Study of Fallen Blossoms' by Fukuda Heihachiro

Issue date for these Japan anniversary stamps is June 1, 2012.

Price: US$ 16.00 (incl. shipping)


Japan Anniversary Stamps - 40th Anniversary of Normalization of Japan China Diplomatic Relations

2012 celebrates 40 years of normalized Japan-China diplomatic relations. On this occasion, the Japan Post Service will issue a special Japan anniversary stamps sheet commemorating this event.

The leaders of Japan and China agreed to designate 2012 as the 'Friendship Year for Japan-China.' The goal is to enhance exchanges and to promote mutual understanding between the two nations on a public and private level.

A series of events will be held throughout this year to mark the 40th anniversary. The opening ceremony will be held in Beijing in February.

The normalization of diplomatic relations took place in 1972. Since then, anniversary marking events have been held by both countries.

The relationship between China and Japan has been strained at times by Japan's refusal to acknowledge its wartime past.

In December 1971, the Japanese and Chinese trade liaison offices began to discuss restoring diplomatic relations.

In 1972, under Prime Minister Tanaka and on the background of Nixon's visit to China, a joint-statement was signed establishing diplomatic relations.

Japan agreed to most of China's demands such as the political status of Tawian.

Since then bilaterla economic relations have grown rapidly.

The Japan anniversary stamps sheet to the left pictures Sakura or Cherry Blossom Flowers and Botan or Japanese Tree Peony.


Issue date for these special event Japan commemorative stamps is September 4, 2012

Price: US$ 16.00 (incl. shipping)


Japan Anniversary Stamps - 20th Anniversary of Japan's Cooperation in PKO

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Japan's participation in United Nations peace keeping operations (PKO), the Japan postal service issued this Japan anniversary stamp sheet.

In June 1992, Japan's diet passed a UN peacekeeping cooperation law permitting its self-defense forces to participate in UN medical, refugee, logistical, etc operations under strictly limited conditions.

To date, Japan has partaken in operations in Cambodia, Mozambique, Iraq, Nepal, Somalia, and Haiti.

The commemorative stamp sheet features various Japanese stamps, depicting two scenes from peace keeping activities.

The first scene shows a Japanese PKO staff holding a young boy's hand.

The second scene illustrates a Japanese PKO staff preparing for operational activities.


This Japan anniversary stamp sheet was issued on June 19, 2012.

It uses a 6 color offset print.


Price: US$ 14.30 (incl. shipping)


Japan Anniversary Stamps - Okinawa Reversion 40th Anniversary

The Okinawa Reversion stamp sheet was issued on the 40th anniversary of the return of the Ryukyu Islands to Japan.

After the end of WWII, the Ryukyu Islands, or Okinawa, became a US governed territory until their return in 1972. In the years between 1945 and 1971, Okinawa had its own postal system under the administration of the United States and issued its own Ryukyu postage stamps denominated in US cent.

The Japan stamp sheet is full of notable images that characterize the islands of Okinawa.

The top two Japan anniversary stamps show the famous Shuri-jo castle in Naha City, located on the main island of Okinawa.

It is a Ryukyuan style castle and was the seat of the independent Kingdom of Ryukyu before annexation as Okinawa prefecture by Japan in 1879.

Dating back to the 13th century, it was almost completely destroyed during the Battle of Okinawa and later reconstructed in 1992.

The next two Japan stamps show images of goya, a type of local bitter melon, and mangoes. Both grow abundantly in Okinawa's subtropical climate and are staples of the Okinawan diet.

Next, are two Japan commemorative stamps picturing local orchids, followed by two stamps dedicated to the Okinawa Shurami Aquarium (showing whale sharks and other fish).

The last two Japanese stamps depict the Naha City monorail, and the Miyako-jima island Ikema Big Bridge.


This special Okinawa Japan anniversary stamps sheet was issued on May 5, 2012.


Price: US$ 16.00 (incl. shipping)


Japan Anniversary Stamps - 150th Anniversary of the Birth of the Idea of the Red Cross

The Red Cross 150 years Japan anniversary stamps honor Swiss businessman and social activist Henri Dunant.

Based on personal experiences at the Battle of Solferino, he first developed the idea of an international relief committee dedicated to the wounded. The 1864 Geneva Convention is based on Dunant's ideas.

He received the first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901.

The Red Cross Japan anniversary stamps show Jean-Henri Dunant who is credited to be the founding father of today's Red Cross Organization.

In June 1859, the Swiss businessman Dunant traveled to Italy to meet emperor Napoleon III to discuss business issues in Algeria.

When Dunant arrived in the town of Solferino, he witnessed the Battle of Solferino. In one day, 40,000 soldiers on bith sides died or were left wounded. Shocked by the terrible aftermath of the battle and the lack of medical attention, Dunant devoted himself to helping with the treatment for the wounded.

Back home in Geneva, he wrote a book about his experience and advocated the formation of national relief organizations to help nurse wounded soldiers. In addition, he called for treaties to guarantee the protection of neutral medics and field hospitals.

In February 1863, Dunant founded the 'Committee of the Five' together with four other leading Swiss figures. Their aim was to examine the feasibility of Dunant's ideas and to organize an international conference.

Later in February, the five men decided to rename the committee to 'International Committee for Relief to the Wounded,' widely seen as the beginning of the Red Cross organization.

This Japan anniversary stamps sheet marks 150 years since Dunant's idea came to fruition in June 1859.


The Red Cross Japan anniversary stamps sheet was issued on May 8, 2009.

It uses a 5 color offset print.


Price: US$ 15.20 (incl. shipping)


Japan Anniversary Stamps - 50th Anniversary of the Antarctica Act

In 2011, the Japan post service celebrated 50 years of and participation in the international Antarctic Treaty with a special Japan anniversary stamp.

The Antarctic Treaty System regulates international relations with respect to Antarctica. The treaty entering into force in 1961 currently has 49 signatory nations, including Japan. The main purpose of the act is to set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and to ban military activity on the continent.

The main treaty was opened for signature in December 1959 and came into effect on June 1961.

The original signatories, among them Japan, were the 12 countries active in Antarctica during the international geophysical year of 1957-1958.

Over 50 Antarctic stations were established by the 12 countries. The treaty was a diplomatic expression of the operational and scientific cooperation that had been achieved.

The Japan anniversary stamps sheet shows five stamps depicting various type of penguin that can be encountered in Antarctica. They are:

  • Adelie
  • Chinstrap
  • Gentoo
  • Emperor
  • Macaroni

The remaining five Japan stamps have a map of Antarctica with a snow ice crystal imposed on top.


The Antarctica Japan anniversary stamps sheet was issued on June 23, 2011 with an initial print of 1.3 million sheet.

It uses a 6 color offset print.

Currently SOLD OUT


Japan Anniversary stamps -100th Anniversary of the Gift of Cheery Trees to the USA

In March 2012, the Japan Post celebrated 100 years of friendship between Japan and United states by releasing a special Japan anniversary stamps sheet marking the 100th anniversary of Japan's gift of 3020 cherry trees to the United States. The trees can be seen in full flower around Washington's Tidal Basin at the annual cherry blossom festival.

The cherry trees were a gift from then Tokyo mayor Yukio Ozaki to President W.H. Taft in 1912. First lady H. Taft and the wife of the Japanese ambassador, Viscountness Chinda, planted the initial first two trees on the north side of the Tidal Basin on March 27, 1912.

The U.S. Postal Service also released two commemorative postage stamps that combined together create a panoramic view of the iconic trees in full flower.

The following images can be seen on the left Japanese stamps:

  1. The Washington Monument and Cherry Blossoms
  2. The Jefferson Memorial and Cherry Blossoms
  3. Cerasus Lannesiana (Ichiyo)
  4. Prunus Yedoensis (Somei Yoshino)
  5. Prunus Lannesiana (Kansan)
  6. Prunus Serrulata (Gyoiko)

These Japan commemorative stamps are definitely a gem for any Japanese stamp collector.


Issue date for these Japan anniversary stamps sheet was March 27, 2012.


Price: US$ 17.70 (incl. shipping)


Japan Anniversary Stamps - 80th Anniversary of Tokyo International Airport

The Tokyo International Airport or commonly referred to as Haneda Airport is commemorated on this Japan anniversary stamps sheet.

Haneda is one of the two primary airports that serve the greater Tokyo area; the second being Narita airport. Haneda is located on reclaimed Tokyo bay land in the Ota-ward of Tokyo.

Eighty years ago, in 1931, Haneda Airfield first opened on a small piece of bayfront land at the south end of today's airport complex.

It was Japan's largest civil airport at the time. During the 1930s, Haneda handled flights to destinations in Japan, Korea, and Manchuria.

In 1939, a second 800 meter runway was completed.

In 1945, US occupation forces took over the airport and renamed it Haneda Army Air Base. The US army evicted many nearby residents to make room for constructions projects and runaway extensions.

During the Korean War, Haneda was the main regional base for the US Navy flight nurses, who evacuated injured from Korea to military hospitals in Tokyo.

In 1947, Haneda received its first international passenger flights when Northwest Orient Airlines began service to the US, China, South Korea, and the Philippines.

In 1958, the US returned the entire airport back to Japan.

Japan's flag carrier Japan Airlines began domestic operations from Haneda in 1951.

Due to rapid traffic growth and the cost involved in further landfill expansion, the government decided to build a new international airport in Narita.

Haneda became a domestic airport until 2010 when a new international terminal was opened up to once again welcome flights from overseas.

The Japan commemorative stamps on the left show images of:

  1. The old air traffic control tower area
  2. the new air traffic control tower area
  3. Tokyo International Airport Floor Plan and an aircraft
  4. The new air traffic control tower and an aircraft

The issue date for this Japan anniversary stamps sheet was August 25, 2011.

Currently SOLD OUT


Japan Anniversary Stamps - 150th Birthday of Tomitaro Makino

The next Japan anniversary stamps celebrates that life and birthday of famed botanist Tomitaro Makino.

Makino lived from April 24, 1862 until January 18, 1957 and is considered to be the pioneer of Japanese taxonomic work. He has been called 'father of Japanese botany' as he was one of the first to work extensively on classifying Japanese plants using the Linnaeus system.

His birthday is remembered as Botany Day in Japan.

Makino was born in Kochi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku, son of a famous sake brewer.

A school-drop out, he showed strong interest in English, geography, and botany.

In 1880, he became a teacher and subsequently published his first academic botanical paper.

In 1884, he pursued his botanical interests at the University of Tokyo and began publishing an academic journal of botany a few years later.

In 1936, he published the Makino Book of Botany in which he describes 6000 species, 1000 of which he personally discovered.

He is best know for his 'Illustrated Flora of Japan' published in 1940 and still in use today.

In 1948, he was invited by Emperor Hirohito to lecture him in the Imperial Palace on botany.

After his death in 1957, his collection of around 400,000 specimens was donated to Tokyo Metropolitan University.

Shown on this Japan anniversary stamps sheet honoring Makino are the following plants:

  1. Viburnum Dilatatum
  2. Toad Lily, Tricyrtis Ishiiana
  3. Japanese Aulopus Solidago, Himekirinso
  4. Hyacinth Orchid, Calypso Bulbosa
  5. Cricket Orchid, Stigmatodactylus Sikokianus

These Japan commemorative stamps were issued on April 24, 2012.

Currently SOLD OUT


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