Friday, November 6, 2009
The Ryukyus Islands were occupied by U.S. forces in 1945, and reverted to Japan in 1972. During the period of occupation, the U.S. issued stamps for use in the Ryukyus, which now are sought by U.S. and Japanese collectors. Three of the airmail sets, picturing a heavenly maiden playing a flute, are scarce, and I've listed their printing quantities and Scott '10 Catalog Values below:
C4-8 1951-54 Heavenly Maiden (75,000; $ 30.00)
C9-13 1957 Heavenly Maiden (48,800; $ 85.00)
C14-18 1959 Heavenly Maiden, Surcharged (80,000; $ 50.00)
Many of these stamps were used as postage by Americans stationed on the islands, for sending letters and packages back to the States. The sets have a strong dual market, appealing to both American and Japanese collectors, and I recommend their accumulation.