Seapost -> Japanese Seaposts

Japanese Seaposts

By Mike Dovey

Japanese vessels first commenced using Sea Post Office cancellations in 1902 and continued until 1941 when they ceased due to the outbreak of hostilities between the USA and Japan in WWII. Paquebot marks were issued to vessels sailing not only from Yokohama to Seattle, and Japan to San Francisco via Honolulu, but also to vessels sailing from Japan to Europe.

Type 4023 paquebot cancel on cover
Type 4023 posted from the HEIAN MARU in 1934

Table of listed Japanese paquebot cancel types:

paquebot cancel type paquebot cancel type paquebot cancel type
Type 4023 (Studd A211) Type 4024 (Studd A214) Type 4025
paquebot cancel type paquebot cancel type paquebot cancel type
4026 (Studd A212) 1 (also 3471D) 2
paquebot cancel type paquebot cancel type paquebot cancel type
3 4 5

The above cancel types are known posted from the following vessels:

TypeVessel TypeVessel
4023 ASAMA MARU 4024 AMERICA MARU
  HEIAN MARU   CHIGO MARU
  KAGA MARU   TATSUTA MARU
  TAITO MARU   TATUTA MARU
      TENYO MARU
4025 none reported yet 4026 HIKAWA MARU
      SIBERIA MARU
1 YAWATA MARU 2 HIYE MARU
3 YOKOHAMA MARU 4 NITTA MARU
5 CHICHIBA MARU    
  KAMAKUBA MARU    
  TITIBU MARU    

 

Type 4026 paquebot cancel on cover
Type 4026 posted from the SIBERIA MARU in 1930

There are certain cancellations used on board vessels that are very similar to paquebot marks used on the mainland in Japan especially at Yokohama (the mark 3471D and 1 above is a prime example). Only by very careful examination can it be ascertained as to whether a cover is mainland or posted on board a vessel.

Type 1 Paquebot cancel on cover
Type 1 posted from the YAWATA MARU in 1940 (same as 3471D)
 

References:

Roger Hosking's "Paquebot Cancellations of the World". (Still available - 3rd Edition)
Gustav Lund's "The Paquebot Marks of the Americas". (Out of Print).

Related Links:

The main Japanese Antarctic Support vessel Shirase carries a sea post office.


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