Japan Stamps New Issues

Mint condition Japan stamps new issues are released on a regular basis by the Japanese postal service. The quality of color and print, the attention to detail, and the selection of images make them very collectible in the eyes of Japan philatelists and Japanese stamp collectors all over the world.

Japan local issue stamps or 'kitte' can be a great reflection of Japanese culture, one example of which are the recently issued exotic ukiyo-e Japanese postage stamps.

Please take some time and look at the just released new issue Japan stamps below. We will regularly update this page as soon as the Japan Post Service announces the release of new Japanese stamps.

For a large variety of 'older' Japan stamps, including furusato hometown stamps, Japanese commemorative stamps, Japan anniverary stamps, and Japan animation postage stamps, please refer to our main menu selection on the left.

Japan Stamps New Issues - Zodiac Letters

Japanese zodiac letters calligraphy are the theme of this special issue Japan stamps sheet. The sheet shows twelve different ways of writing the character for the snake sign.

Though Japan, in the 19th century, moved rapidly towards Westernization, the lunar calendar continues to influence Japanese daily life. Having learned astrology from the Chinese, the earliest extant Japanese horoscope dates back to 1112 A.D.

The system of the twelve-year cycle of the animal signs was built from the observations of the orbit of Jupiter around the sun. The astronomers divided the celestial circle into twelve sections and rounded it up to 12 years. The 60 year cycle is made of two distinct cycles. The first is the cycle of ten heavenly stems. The second is the cycle of the twelve zodiac animal signs. They are in order as follows: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and boar.

The commemorative Japanese stamps shown on the below sheet, illustrate twelve different styles of calligraphy that stand for the snake zodiac.

They are from top to bottom:

  1. Gyosho Style: also known as running style, it was the last of the five major calligraphy styles to develop. It was a natural result of everyday handwriting. It is also known as running style and is semi-cursive. It is understood as a bridge between rectangular styles and draft script.
  2. Reisho Style: also known as official clerical script, it was a prevailing style during the Han period.
  3. Sosho Style: known as the cursive script, it is said to have originated during the Han dynasty and was aimed at simplifying strokes to speed up writing.
  4. Reisho Style: same as point 2.
  5. Kana Style; based on hiragana script which can only be found in Japan.
  6. Gyosho Style: same as point 1.
  7. Shincho Style: Qing dynasty writing style
  8. Kaisho Style: one of the fourcore scripts of Chinese calligraphy. Legend says it was created during the Cao Wei dynasty aimed at perfecting one's brush technique.
  9. Shoten Style: small seal script
  10. Kinbun Style: great seal script, it's literal translation means 'text on metal.'

The bottom left hand side of the Japan local issue stamps sheet shows the snake wrapped around a Japanese fukubukuro lucky bag.

Issue date for these Japan stamps new issues is November 21, 2012.

Price: US$ 28.60

Japan Stamps New Issues - Disney Characters

Disney characters are very popular among children and women of all ages in Japan. The Japan Post, in cooperation with Walt Disney Japan is issuing two Japanese stamp sheets featuring the most recognizable and beloved Disney characters.

The commemorative Japanese stamps on the left picture the following Disney characters:

  1. Winnie the Pooh
  2. Piglet
  3. Alice
  4. Donald Duck
  5. Daisy Duck
  6. Cinderella
  7. Dumbo
  8. Molly
  9. Goofy
  10. 101 Dalmatians

Price: US$ 12.60


The Disney Japan animation stamps to the right depict these beloved characters:

  1. Tinkerbell
  2. Mickey Mouse
  3. Minnie Mouse
  4. Bambi
  5. Pinocchio
  6. Snow White
  7. Pluto
  8. Ariel
  9. Stitch
  10. The three little pigs

Currently SOLD OUT

Release date for these Japan stamps new issues is November 20, 2012.

Japan Stamps New Issues - Japanese Traditional Craft Series No. 1

Japanese traditional craft are the focus of this new Japanese stamps sheet.

The many and varied traditional handicrafts of Japan are officially recognized and protected. Some enjoy status as ameibutsu or regional specialty.

Some of the most famous Japanese crafts and products are shown on these commemorative Japanese stamps.

The above Japan stamps new issues sheet show the following images (left to right column):

  1. Hakata Ningyo or Doll, Fukuoka Prefecture. Traditional Japanese clay dolls originally from Fukuoka city. They originated in the 17th century and were used as gifts to Buddhist temples. Hakata dolls became famous when American soldiers took them back to the US as souvenirs during the occupation of Japan following WWII.
  2. Kyosensu or Folding Fans, Kyoto Prefecture. The sensu is a portable fold-away fan that originated in the 7th century in Japan, in particular in Kyoto. The fans became popular at the imperial court and among the nobility
  3. Ogatsu-Suzuri, Miyagi Prefecture. Traditional Japanese ink-stone dating back 600 years ago. It is a classical artifact that was designated as a traditional craft of Japan in 1985. The Ogatsu stone is used to manufacture the final ink-stone. The stone is black with glossy and smooth grains and has a low water absorption rate.
  4. Kaga Yuzen, Ishikawa Prefecture. Refers to the traditional technique of dying silk fabrics for kimonos. The technique was established at the beginning of the 18th century. Kaga Yuzen is characterized by designs of vivid color tones and gradation dying.
  5. Kijoka Bashofu, Okinawa Prefecture. Traditional weaving technique fro Okinawa Prefecture. Introduced to Okinawa during the 13th century, it uses light weight fabric from a type of banana tree. Once produced and worn almost everywhere in Okinawa, it succumbed to western clothing and almost disappeared in the 1940s.
  6. Kutaniyaki, Ishikawa Prefecture. Kutani is a style of Japanese porcelain from the village of Kutani. It is known for multiple colors such as greens, blues, purples, and reds, as well as, bold designs covering most of the surface of each piece. The Kutaniyaki style dates back to the 17th century.
  7. Obori Somayaki Pottery, Fukushima Prefecture. Soma pottery is characterized by the blue-green crackling that covers the surface. An apple ash and crackle is used to achieve this effect. Soma pottery was established in 1690 in Fukushima. It enjoyed the protection of the Soma lords and grew to over 100 kilns.
  8. Nanbu Tekki, Iwate Prefecture. Traditional ironware produced in the areas of Moriokaand Mizusawa City. Production of Nanbu ironware is thought to have begun in Morioka at the end of the 17th century. Today, tea pots and kettles are still made by hand using traditional techniques.
  9. Tsugaru-nuri, Aomori Prefecture. Tsugaru-nuri is the name given to the kind of lacquerware produced in and around the city of Hirosaki in Aomori Prefecture. It was first produced at the end of the 17century and features a variety of designs characterized by detailed patterns and glossy sheen.
  10. Tsuboya-yaki, Okinawa Prefecture. Tsuboya pottery from Naha City, Okinawa. Tsuboya pottery, named after the Tsuboya district in Naha, dates back 300 years and comes in either glazed or unglazed form. It includes large items such as storage jars for water, bean paste, or Okinawan awamori liquor.

Release date for these Japan local issue stamps is October 25, 2012.

Price: US$ 18.10

Japan Stamps New Issues - Anime Hero and Heroine Series 18 'Rascal the Raccoon'

Number 18 in the Japanese anime stamps 'Hero and Heroine' Series features the widely beloved character of Rascal the Raccoon.

Originally created by Nippon Animation, the Japanese title for this anime series is 'Araiguma Rascal.'

It is based on the 1963 autobiographical novel 'Rascal, a memoir of a better era' by Sterling North about his childhood in Wisconsin.

The Rascal Japan stamps new issues sheet shows the following images:

  1. Rascal
  2. Sterling and Alice
  3. Rascal
  4. Sterling
  5. Raccoon Kids
  6. Rascal
  7. Rascal
  8. Sterling
  9. Rascal
  10. Sterling

The success of the animated series in Japan was responsible for the accidental introduction of the raccoon species into the country. Up to 1,500 raccoons were imported as pets each year.

Release date for these Japan local issue stamps is October 23, 2012.

Price: US$ 16.00

Japan Stamps New Issues - 2012 Annual Meetings IMF World Bank Group

Each autumn, the Board of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund hold annual meetings to discuss a range of issues related to poverty reduction, economic development and finance. The annual meetings are traditionally held in Washington DC or in a member country. About 10,000 people attend the meetings, including representatives of media, the banking sector, and private business.

To commemorate this annual event, the Japanese postal service is to issue a special stamp sheet.

Issue date for these commemorative Japanese stamps is October 12, 2012.

The Japanese postage stamps on the left show the following images.

Left column:

  1. Wadokaichin Coins: Also called Wado-kaiho is the oldest form of Japanese coinage, having been minted starting in 708 AD.The coins,with a square hole in the center, remained in circulation until 958 AD. Wadokaichin is the reading of the four characters printed on the coins. Wado is thought to stand for 'Japanese copper' and Kaichin for 'currency.'
  2. Toraisen Coins: These were coins minted privately by local clans and wealthy merchants. Due to the rapid expansion of commercial transactions during the Muromachi Period, actual coins were in scarce supply. Besides Chinese coins, toraisen were used in transactions.
  3. Hirumokin Gold Slug, Sekishugin Silver Slug, Yuzurihakin Gold Plate.
  4. Keicho Oban Coin: Issued by the Tokugawa Shogunate. It weighs 165.4g and contains 68% gold.
  5. Keicho Chogin Coins: Consist of 80% silver and were also issued by the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Right Column:

  1. Tenpou Tsuho and Kan-ei Tsuho: Coins from the Tenpou (19th century) and Kanei (18th century) periods.
  2. Tenbin: Money changers balance and weights as used during the 19th century.
  3. Yamada Hagaki: 17th century paper money predominantly used in the Ise-Yamada region near Nara. It is considered to be the first paper money in Japan.
  4. Edasen: 'Money Tree' Coins as just taken out of the mold.
  5. Niju-en-kinka 20 Yen gold coin, Goju-sen-ginka 0.5 Yen silver coin, and Ni-sen 0.02 Yen doga bronze coin.

Price: US$ 17.90

Japan Stamps New Issues - 2012 International Letter Week

International Letter Writing Week was established at the 14th Universal Postal Union Congress held in Ottawa in 1957. The aim was to contribute to world peace by encouraging cultural exchanges among the people of the world through letter writing.

For 2012, the Japan Post will issue the following Japanese commemorative stamps. Each of the below Japan stamps will come in a ten-stamps sheet.

The first Japanese stamp on the left shows artwork by Japanese artist Kiyokata Kaburagi. The painting is entitled 'Hatsu Gochi.' Kaburagi, 1878-1972, was the pseudonym of Kaburagi Kenichi, a Nihonga painting artist during the Taisho and Showa periods. He is considered to be the leading master of the bijinga genre. Starting out as an illustrator, he became a member of the Imperial Fine Art Academy and the Art Committeef the Imperial Household. In 1944, he received the title of official court painter.

The middle of the three Japan stamps new issues is a work by Uemura Shoen, 1875-1949, entitled 'Shun-pou.' Uemura Shoen was the pseudonym for Uemura Tsune, a woman artist during the Meiji, Taisho, and early Showa periods. Known for her bijinga paintings of beautiful women, she also produced numerous works on historical themes and other traditional subjects.

A painting by Ito Shinsui is shown on the last new issue Japan stamp. It is entitled 'Fubuki.' Ito Shinsui was the pseudonym of Ito Hajime, 1898-1972. He was a famous Nihonga painter and Ukiyo-e woodblock print artists during the Taisho and Showa periods. He is also considered to be one of the great names of the shin-hanga art movement, revitalizing the traditional art with the advent of photography.

These Japan stamps new issues will be released on October 9, 2012.

Price for 90 Yen Sheet: US$ 19.10

Price for 110 Yen Sheet: US$ 22.00

Price for 130 Yen Sheet: US$ 23.60

Japan Stamps New Issues - Horse Racing in Japan - History of 150 Years

On the occasion of 150 years of horse racing in Japan, the Japan Post Service will issue a special 'History of Horse Racing' Japan local issue 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 commemorative Japanese 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.

Another great example of an interesting Japan stamps new issues sheet.

These Japan stamps new issued will be issued on October 2, 2012.

Price: US$ 19.00

Japan Stamps New Issues - 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 Japanese stamps anniversary 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 stamps new issues to the left pictures Sakura or Cherry Blossom Flowers and Botan or Japanese Tree Peony.

Issue date for these mint-condition Japan local issue stamps is September 4, 2012

Price: US$ 19.00

Japan Stamps New Issues - Ukiyoe Series Vol.1

In 2012, the Japan post service will for the first time publish an 'ukiyo-e' stamp series. The initial new issue volume 1 stamp sheet will be released in August.

For those Japanese stamp collectors that are unfamiliar with the term ukiyo-e, the latter describes a Japanese woodblock print and painting genre from the time between the 17th and 20th centuries.

Ukiyo-e (浮世絵) literally means 'pictures of the floating world,' a term used to refer to the fleeting world of beauty and entertainment as associated with Japanese kabuki, geisha, and courtesans.

The ukiyo-e art form became popular during the Edo-period in the second half of the 17th century.

Ukiyo-e wood prints were affordable to everyone because they could be mass-produced. They were meant for the regular townsmen who were not wealthy enough to afford an original painting.

The original subject of ukiyo-e was city-life, in particular scenes from the entertainment districts, such as those depicting courtesans, sumo wrestlers, and actors. Later on landscapes became popular.

The individual stamps on this stamp sheet show images from the Edo-period (roughly 17th-19th century). They focus on prints of Japan's notable sites and beautiful women of Edo (former name for Tokyo) by famous artist Utagawa Hiroshige.

This Japan stamps new issues sheet was released on August 1, 2012.

It applies a 6 color offset printing method.

Price: US$ 19.00

Japan Stamps New Issues - Harmony With Nature Series No.2

One of the characteristics of Japanese culture is often said to be the close and harmonious relationship with nature. The Japanese appreciation of nature has been reflected in the Japan Post 'Harmony with Nature Series.'

The second volume of the nature commemorative Japanese stamps cover wildlife and flowers that are prevalent throughout Japan.

The Japanese stamp sheet on the left depict the following wildlife and flowers:

  1. Tokyo Shrewmouse, a small Japanese field mouse
  2. Golden Eagle
  3. Safflower Peony
  4. Killifish
  5. Horseshoe Crab

These Japan stamps new issues are issued on August 23, 2012.

Price: US$ 15.00

Japan Stamps New Issues - The 67th National Sports Festival

These new issue commemorative Japanese stamps celebrate the 67th National Athletic Meet in Gifu Prefecture.

The National Sports Festival is the premier prefecture versus prefecture sports event in Japan. The abbreviated name is Kokutai which literally translates into 'National Polity' or 'Fundamental Character of the Nation.'

Winners in each discipline are awarded the Emperor or Empress Cup.

The first Kokutai was held in 1946 with the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe being co-hosts.

Since then, the national sports festival has been held on an annual basis without interruption.

The last three Kokutai meets 64/65/66 were hosted by Niigata, Chiba, and Yamaguchi prefectures.

Yamaguchi Prefecture is hosting the event for the second time after 1965.

The commemorative Japanese stamps on the left depict five athletic competitions:

  1. Badminton
  2. Rhythmic Gymnastics
  3. Rowing
  4. Cycling
  5. Field Hockey

The left and right hand side borders of these Japan local issue stamps show 'Minamo,' the games mascot character.

These Japan stamps new issues will be issued on September 28, 2012.

Price: US$ 13.10

Special Order Price: GBP 34.5

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