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Monday, September 21, 2009

Stamp Investment Tips: Japan 1934 Plane Over Lake Ashi Souvenir Sheet (Scott #C8)

On April 20, 1934, Japan celebrated Communications Commemoration Day, and issued a souvenir sheet (Scott #C8) at a philatelic exhibition in Tokyo. The four stamps in the sheet had the same design as the 1929-34 Airmail stamps (C3-7), which pictured a passenger plane of Lake Ashi. 20,000 sheets were issued.

Scott '10 prices the unused sheet at $ 1,400.00 (and $ 2,200.00 for Never Hinged), which seems expensive. It isn't, considering that Japan, with its 128 million people, is the second largest economy in the world, has a healthy stamp market on par with those of Europe, and has one of the most rapidly aging populations in the world. The percentage of Japanese aged 60 and over, which was 23% in the year 2000, is expected to rise 42%, an 82% increase, by 2050.


  1. Very interesting & useful blog, Alex! On the topic of Japanese S/S, I'd like to suggest you cover the five 1938-41 national park sheets, which were issued in souvenir folders. The key thing is to get them in MNH condition and WITH the folders. The last four pre-war sheets (1939-41) were issued in small quantities, ranging from 42,000 to 76,000. Japanese collectors are very fastidious about getting MNH issues only WITH the folders! No good without...

    Because I live in Taiwan, I became very interested in the last two of these sheets and the accompanying folder. The three national parks covered were located here in Taiwan, then a part of the Japanese Empire. The folder was issued in TWO versions, one in Japan per se and one by the Taiwan government. The latter is very difficult to find and it took me ten years of searching to purchase one - only US$200! (See ISJP's "Japanese Philately" #341 (Feb. 2001), p.11)

    I cannot estimate how much demand there is for these as I live in a small town far from other collectors and don't read Chinese well enough, but they are all scarce.

    In general, all Japanese stamps on cover used in Taiwan also seem to fetch decent prices at auction and online.

  2. Kreditanstalt:Thanks- I've been thinking about tipping the Parks sheets series. What's held me back is the fact that many of these sheets are very difficult to find without creases or bends, because they were issued on such delicate paper.