There is a great variety of old issues Japanese stamps still in circulation. However, it has become increasingly difficult to come by mint condition Japan postage stamps due to their popularity among local Japanese stamp collectors.
I have received many a question on whether the site would also offer old Japanese postage stamps. As a consequence, we decided to look for select older vintage Japanese stamps that were released anywhere between 1945 and 2009.
For a nice selection of our old Japanese postage stamps, have a look at these categories:
We will add more and more old issues Japanese stamps as we 'discover' them.
If you look at post WWII Japan stamps, it is interesting to note how each decade with its own socioeconomic issues and development has influenced the choice of design and theme.
Stamps of Japan released in the 1950th predominantly feature themes related to the post-War economic recovery and the build-up of Japanese industry and infrastructure.
A nice example of the above is the 1956 commemorative Japanese stamp marking the completion of the electrification of the Tokaido Railway. As part of the national railway system, stretching 20,000km, the Tokaido line was electrified from Tokyo to Kobe. It was originally built in 1889. It has developed into the most important route in Japan.
The next decade saw the shift towards more social and cultural related stamp themes. In 1964, a commemorative Japanese stamp marked the completion of repair work to famous Himeji Castle. The castle, a world heritage site since 1993, survived the heavy WWII bombing of surrounding Himeji City in 1945, but substantial repair work was needed.
Along with Matsumoto and Kumamoto Castles, Himeji Castle is considered one of Japan's three premier castles. It is the most visited castle in Japan with over 820,000 visitors annually.
In 1964, a special Tokyo Olympics stamped was released commemorating the first Japanese, as well as, the first Asian Olympic summer games.
The Tokyo Olympics stamp shows the Kasumigaoka National Stadium in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The event was an important social milestone for post-war Japan, since the country was passed over for the 1940 Olympics due to its invasion of China.
The 1970s were dominated by political issues, in particular the reversion of Okinawa from post-war US occupation. In 1972, the Japan Post issued a special stamp commemorating the reversion of the Okinawa territory.
This old issues Japanese stamp shows the famous 16th century Shurei-mon gate in Naha, Okinawa. Destroyed during WWII, it was reconstructed in the 1960s.
In November 1969, President Nixon and Japanese PM Sato signed the Reversion Agreement. The US reverted the islands back to Japan on May 15, 1972. Under the terms of the agreement, the US retained its rights to military bases on the islands and, today, have about 30,000 troops stationed on Okinawa.
The 1980s were known as the bubble era in Japan with unprecedented economic growth and post-war international standing.
As a consequence of the economic might of the new Japan, the G7 Summit was held in Tokyo in 1986.On this occasion, a commemorative Japan stamp featuring the summit of Mt. Fuji was issued.
The heads of the richest industrialize countries came together in Tokyo, among them Ronald Reagan, Helmut Kohl, Margaret Thatcher, Francois Mitterand, and Yasuhiro Nakasone. The above old Japanese postage stamp was a perfect example of Japan's renewed economic might and national pride.
Japan stamps released in the 1990s were a reflection of established bilateral international relations, as well as, social and environmental problems of the times. For example, in 1997, the Japan Post acknowledged the issue of global warming when issuing its Kyoto Protocol commemorative Japan stamp.
The Kyoto Protocol was initially adopted in December 1997 in Kyoto Japan. The protocol set binding obligations on the industrialized nations to reduce emission of greenhouse gases.
No matter the decade, old issues Japanese stamps showcast the issues important to the development of post-war Japan.
If the above overview has sparked your interest in old Japanese postage stamps, have a look at our choice old issues Japan stamps.