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Taiwan Local Stamps

Uploader: NIKKOPublication: 2016-07-31
Basic Information Category: Stamps & Postcards Subcategory: Stamps (Unused) Year: 1945 CE Century: 20 CE Country of Origin: Taiwan Issuer: Chunghwa Post (中華郵政)
SpecificationLength: 2.2 cm Width: 2.2 cm
Taiwan local stamps (Japanese: 台湾地方切手), also known as Taiwan numeric stamps (中文: 台灣數字郵票) by the philatelist community in Taiwan, are a series of stamps printed in Taiwan locally due to shortage of supplies in 1945. There are total of 9 stamps in the set: a red 3 sen (銭), a green 5 sen, a light blue 10 sen, a navy blue 30 sen, a purple 40 sen, a brown 50 sen, a light green 1 yen (円), a dark green 5 yen and a pinkish purple 10 yen.

Toward the end of World War II, Japan lost her air and sea control, and the mainland of Japan was frequently bombarded by the US Air Force. In April 1945, with destruction of Takinogawa Printing Plant (滝野川印刷工場) in Tokyo, Taiwan was no longer able to obtain postal supplies from Japan, including stamps. Ministry of Communications (逓信省) of Japan ordered local governments to print stamps and postcards locally by utilizing the civilian printing factories if necessary.

After receiving the order, Governor-General of Taiwan initially decided to photoengrave new stamps from the existing ones, but the images were too blurry so the plan was abandoned. A graphic technician, Hioki Masatoshi (日置勝駿), was also sent from Tokyo to assist Taiwanese government to produce its own stamp. They decided to keep the graphics simple and used the numeric face value as the main theme with Sakura, the national flower of Japan, on the right. There are total of 7 stamps produced: 3 sen (銭), 5 sen, 10 sen, 30 sen, 40 sen, 50 sen and 1 yen (円). In addition to those 7 stamps, a 5 yen and a 10 yen were also included by copying the existing Showa stamp design: a portrait of Fujiwara no Kamatari (藤原鎌足) and a picture of plum blossoms. All of the 9 stamps have the text “Empire of Japan Stamp (大日本帝國郵票)” on them.

Due to shortage of raw materials during wartime, the stamps were printed on any paper they could obtain at the time. The paper thickness ranges from 0.07mm to 0.16mm. The color of the papers also varies from white, grey to even cream color. There is no perforation on the stamps.

However, the Empire of Japan surrendered on Augest 15th 1945, while the stamps were still in production. 3 sen and 5 sen stamps were finally issued on October 21, and 10 sen stamps were issued on October 31st. Interestingly, The postal service of Taiwan was handed over to the government of the Republic of China on November 3rd 1945, so sales of the original Taiwan local stamps also stopped on that day.

Because new stamps had not yet arrived from China, the postal service of Taiwan, while still maintained by the Japanese at the time, had to print “the Republic of China” and “Province of Taiwan” on top of the existing Taiwan local stamps to fulfill the postal needs while waiting for the new stamps. The sales of the newly overprinted Taiwan local stamps resumed on November 4th 1945 and continued until December 1946, when the sufficient number of new stamps from China finally arrived. People were required to bring the existing stamps to the postal offices for new replacements. The overprinted Taiwan local stamps were officially nullified on Febuary 1st, 1947.

3 sen: 1.12 million issued.
5 sen: 12.51 million issued.
10 sen: 18.37 millions issued.
30 sen: 1.32 million issued (printed after the surrender of Japan).
40 sen: 2.34 million issued.
50 sen: 9.64 million issued.
1 yen: 5.09 million issued.
5 yen: 0.82 million issued.
10 yen: 0.78 million issued.
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