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Asia/Other : Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

 

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Jansimon
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15 Jan 2021
06:02:06am

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This week I have tried to sort a large bunch of Furusato stamps I had put away some time ago. For those who are not that into Japanese philately, the Furusato stamps are a special category of stamps issued for the 47 prefectures (furusato in Japanese). They are not truly regional stamps, but they were only available in the prefecture for which the stamp was issued.
The easy part is recognising a furusato. Even if you know nothing of Japanese writing, you can still recognise a Furusato when you see one.

Image Not Found

As you can see, furusato stamps use a calligraphic font.

But now the hard part: there are well over 1,000 different furusato stamps and where normal Japanese stamps always have a year indication (whether western year or japanese year count), there is nothing like that on furusato stamps.
So I am currently going through the catalogue maniacally looking at the pictures, but in the end there are still stamps I cannot find.

How do other Japanese collectors do this? Right now I am trying to decipher the prefecture name and when I have it, I do a search in the pdf catalogue for that name. It is very time-consuming. There must be a better, quicker way, at least I hope there is....




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Jansimon
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15 Jan 2021
06:09:22am

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

years ago I made a start for a database, but gave up when the task turned out to be too much for me at that time. So the project was shelved, but a basis is available on my website:

http://www.pagowirense.nl/stamps/inf-furusato1.asp

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StampCollector
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15 Jan 2021
06:29:37am

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Jan, can you scan some of the stamps that you can't find?

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colnect.com/en/collectors/collector/StampCollector1
Jansimon
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15 Jan 2021
08:27:11am

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

yes, I can do that later today.

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phos45
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15 Jan 2021
08:38:25am
re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

FURASATO ON COLNECT ...

https://colnect.com/en/stamps/face_values/country/108-Japan/emission/14-Regional

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phos45
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15 Jan 2021
08:44:23am
re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

JPS http://www.yushu.or.jp/english/e_sdate/index.html

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Jansimon
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15 Jan 2021
10:09:16am

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Can't find any of these...

Image Not Found

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philatelia
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15 Jan 2021
11:39:25am
re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

I also use the images in Colnect to sort and identify prefectures. You can also sort them by denomination which further speeds the process. They cross reference catalog numbers so no matter which catalog you use, you'll have your ID number.

Set the view to thumbnails to speed the process.

I collect these and also collect all the booklet pane positions.

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Jansimon
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15 Jan 2021
11:58:02am

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Reading your replies I can only conclude that we are all dealing with this issue in the same cumbersome way. Whether one uses Scott, JPS, Michel or colnect, it all comes down to comparing pictures. There is no other way.

By the way, I noticed that the Scott listing for prefectures ends 2007, while there are still prefecture stamps being issued since that date. Typically Scott, I suppose.

@Philatelia: I also collect the various booklet positions.

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philatelia
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15 Jan 2021
01:17:16pm
re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Yup - pictures are the only way I've ever found other than the Colnect search by face value to narrow down the range. But, once you get familiar with them, it gets easier.

FYI the booklet corners are particularly difficult to find as used singles and have 4 euros value in Michel for some types! Don't give those away too blithely.

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"August 2023 - selling penny start bargain lots on EBay - https://www.ebay.com/str/philatelia"

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nigelc
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15 Jan 2021
01:25:45pm
re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

I had a quick look just now at the Colnect listings and I recognise some of the "SG numbers" as being based on the corresponding SG catalogue numbers but the newer numbers seem very strange.

Are these simply placeholders?

My SG Japan & Korea catalogue is from 2008 so isn't up to date but the later four-digit numbers don't look right.

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Philatarium
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APS #187980

15 Jan 2021
02:23:18pm
re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

I stopped collecting Japan mint new issues after 2001, when they just got out of control. However, recently I decided to put a toe in the water with used, and bought some to try my hand at identifying them. (Japan up to 2001 was my primary collecting interest for a number of years, so I know the issues up to 2001 fairly well.)

Even with an up-to-date Scott catalog, an up-to-date Sakura catalog, and the ability to navigate StampWorld and Colnect, I found it still a big challenge. (I also read a little Japanese, and that helped only a bit.)

The *best* tool I've found, that uses your time more efficiently than any other, is to use the Colnect stamp identifier app on your smartphone. It can usually correctly identify about 80-90% of the issues. From that identification, you can determine the Scott, Sakura, or SG number.

The reason Scott stopped listing the Furusato (Prefectural) stamps separately is that Japan Post stopped the restricted distribution of them. It used to be that they were only available in Japan at post offices in that particular prefecture and through the Central Post Office in Tokyo.

With that change in distribution, they stopped using a different font to identify them, so now they look just like the regular issues, which makes identification even more of a challenge.

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StampCollector
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15 Jan 2021
02:33:25pm

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Jan, all of those stamps are easily identified in my 2017 Scott, here are some numbers to help you out.

Image Not Found

Image Not Found

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Jansimon
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15 Jan 2021
02:46:19pm

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Many thanks for your help Tony! This has saved me hours of staring at the catalogue pages. I must have missed a couple of the early ones as well. Just shows that there is no way to predict where to look. All of these were in a batch with fairly recent stamps...

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StampCollector
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15 Jan 2021
02:49:19pm

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that after 2007 the furusato calligraghy was eliminated and all of the prefecture stamps issued afterwards have the regular Japanese lettering including "NIPPON"
This site may help:
http://yushu.or.jp/english/e_sdate/index.html


(Modified by Moderator on 2021-01-16 06:01:17)

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Philatarium
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APS #187980

15 Jan 2021
03:04:59pm
re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Nigel: The special "Z" prefix stopped at the end of 2007, so they started getting listed again in the main section of Scott beginning with the 2008 issues. (Not sure if SG did the same thing.)

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nigelc
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15 Jan 2021
03:39:34pm
re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

"Nigel: The special "Z" prefix stopped at the end of 2007, so they started getting listed again in the main section of Scott beginning with the 2008 issues. (Not sure if SG did the same thing.)"



Thanks, I'm not sure if there has been a change in SG as my 2008 catalogue only includes issues up to 2007.

SG has taken the approach of listing stamps separately for each prefecture and where a stamp has been released in more than one prefecture it is listed in each one.

For example a cherry trees set from 13 April 2000 is listed six times as:

- Akita SG 6-11

- Aomori SG 7-12

- Fukushima SG 7-12

- Iwate SG 6-11

- Miyagi SG 7-12

- Yamagata SG 6-11

I guess SG may well have included the later stamps in the main Japan listing.
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Jansimon
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15 Jan 2021
04:00:52pm

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

One remark re. the identification of the stamps I could not find in the catalogue: the one you identified as Z193 is not the stamp I have. The one I have is a self adhesive version with simulated wave shaped perfs.

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Jansimon
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15 Jan 2021
04:10:23pm

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

By the way, this discussion made me have another look at the database I had started many years ago. I suppose it could still be of use, if I could find the time to finish and enhance it...
The plan was to create a link from each listed stamp to a picture of that stamp. Well, who knows in these Covid-times. Lack of time is no longer a real issue Laughing

Here is an example of the results so far:

Image Not Found

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sheepshanks
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15 Jan 2021
04:23:24pm
re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Just a thought, for maybe the techies out there. If the images are scanned in could Control F be utilized to look for the Prefecture Japanese inscription?
Maybe the images would have to be converted to pdf first but that could be easily done via Irfanview or another converter program.
Just wondering.

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Jansimon
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15 Jan 2021
04:35:33pm

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

OCR could work, but only if you have a way to type Kanji...
I would go for a two step approach: identify the Kanji, check what prefecture it is and then look it up in Roman transcription. This is something I have been doing. Still not perfect as you have to rely on the correctness and more importantly the completeness of the info in Scott. Perhaps it would work better with other catalogues, I don't know.

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sheepshanks
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15 Jan 2021
04:43:54pm
re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

I was working on the basis of cut and paste, as you have the prefecture name at the top of your database and I'm sure I have seen a list of them elsewhere on the web.
A quick look on the net shows a number of ways to get Kanji on your computer, Windows or Apple.
Maybe some enterprising person could put a catalogue together and sell it to what must be a large number of collectors.

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Jansimon
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15 Jan 2021
04:48:53pm

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

I see a challenge :-)

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sheepshanks
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15 Jan 2021
04:58:30pm
re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Just found this site but none of the images load on my windows/firefox laptop.
Maybe someone can get them to load.
http://www.yushu.or.jp/english/e_sdate/index.html
EDIT, ok the issues prior to 2007, ie 2006 and earlier do load the images.

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sheepshanks
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15 Jan 2021
05:08:44pm
re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Here is a screenshot of one of the pages.
Image Not Found

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sheepshanks
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15 Jan 2021
05:11:27pm
re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Here is the page that the previous image was linked from.
Image Not Found

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nigelc
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15 Jan 2021
05:17:37pm
re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Interesting. I found the later sets that I tried loaded better on my laptop.

The earlier one that I tried (from 2000) had some text formatting issues although the images were fine.

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d1stamper
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15 Jan 2021
06:50:12pm
re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

I have been using https://colnect.com/en/stamps/identify to save me looking thru page after page for a stamp.

Doug

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StampCollector
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15 Jan 2021
10:05:38pm

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

193 has regular perfs. 3290 is self-adhesive with die cut perfs.
Here they are side by side.

Image Not Found

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Jansimon

collector, seller, MT member
15 Jan 2021
06:02:06am

Auctions - Approvals

This week I have tried to sort a large bunch of Furusato stamps I had put away some time ago. For those who are not that into Japanese philately, the Furusato stamps are a special category of stamps issued for the 47 prefectures (furusato in Japanese). They are not truly regional stamps, but they were only available in the prefecture for which the stamp was issued.
The easy part is recognising a furusato. Even if you know nothing of Japanese writing, you can still recognise a Furusato when you see one.

Image Not Found

As you can see, furusato stamps use a calligraphic font.

But now the hard part: there are well over 1,000 different furusato stamps and where normal Japanese stamps always have a year indication (whether western year or japanese year count), there is nothing like that on furusato stamps.
So I am currently going through the catalogue maniacally looking at the pictures, but in the end there are still stamps I cannot find.

How do other Japanese collectors do this? Right now I am trying to decipher the prefecture name and when I have it, I do a search in the pdf catalogue for that name. It is very time-consuming. There must be a better, quicker way, at least I hope there is....




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Jansimon

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15 Jan 2021
06:09:22am

Auctions - Approvals

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

years ago I made a start for a database, but gave up when the task turned out to be too much for me at that time. So the project was shelved, but a basis is available on my website:

http://www.pagowirense.nl/stamps/inf-furusato1.asp

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StampCollector

15 Jan 2021
06:29:37am

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Jan, can you scan some of the stamps that you can't find?

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Jansimon

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15 Jan 2021
08:27:11am

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

yes, I can do that later today.

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phos45

15 Jan 2021
08:38:25am

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

FURASATO ON COLNECT ...

https://colnect.com/en/stamps/face_values/country/108-Japan/emission/14-Regional

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phos45

15 Jan 2021
08:44:23am

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

JPS http://www.yushu.or.jp/english/e_sdate/index.html

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Jansimon

collector, seller, MT member
15 Jan 2021
10:09:16am

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Can't find any of these...

Image Not Found

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philatelia

15 Jan 2021
11:39:25am

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

I also use the images in Colnect to sort and identify prefectures. You can also sort them by denomination which further speeds the process. They cross reference catalog numbers so no matter which catalog you use, you'll have your ID number.

Set the view to thumbnails to speed the process.

I collect these and also collect all the booklet pane positions.

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"August 2023 - selling penny start bargain lots on EBay - https://www.ebay.com/str/philatelia"

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Jansimon

collector, seller, MT member
15 Jan 2021
11:58:02am

Auctions - Approvals

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Reading your replies I can only conclude that we are all dealing with this issue in the same cumbersome way. Whether one uses Scott, JPS, Michel or colnect, it all comes down to comparing pictures. There is no other way.

By the way, I noticed that the Scott listing for prefectures ends 2007, while there are still prefecture stamps being issued since that date. Typically Scott, I suppose.

@Philatelia: I also collect the various booklet positions.

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philatelia

15 Jan 2021
01:17:16pm

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Yup - pictures are the only way I've ever found other than the Colnect search by face value to narrow down the range. But, once you get familiar with them, it gets easier.

FYI the booklet corners are particularly difficult to find as used singles and have 4 euros value in Michel for some types! Don't give those away too blithely.

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"August 2023 - selling penny start bargain lots on EBay - https://www.ebay.com/str/philatelia"

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nigelc

15 Jan 2021
01:25:45pm

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

I had a quick look just now at the Colnect listings and I recognise some of the "SG numbers" as being based on the corresponding SG catalogue numbers but the newer numbers seem very strange.

Are these simply placeholders?

My SG Japan & Korea catalogue is from 2008 so isn't up to date but the later four-digit numbers don't look right.

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Philatarium

APS #187980
15 Jan 2021
02:23:18pm

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

I stopped collecting Japan mint new issues after 2001, when they just got out of control. However, recently I decided to put a toe in the water with used, and bought some to try my hand at identifying them. (Japan up to 2001 was my primary collecting interest for a number of years, so I know the issues up to 2001 fairly well.)

Even with an up-to-date Scott catalog, an up-to-date Sakura catalog, and the ability to navigate StampWorld and Colnect, I found it still a big challenge. (I also read a little Japanese, and that helped only a bit.)

The *best* tool I've found, that uses your time more efficiently than any other, is to use the Colnect stamp identifier app on your smartphone. It can usually correctly identify about 80-90% of the issues. From that identification, you can determine the Scott, Sakura, or SG number.

The reason Scott stopped listing the Furusato (Prefectural) stamps separately is that Japan Post stopped the restricted distribution of them. It used to be that they were only available in Japan at post offices in that particular prefecture and through the Central Post Office in Tokyo.

With that change in distribution, they stopped using a different font to identify them, so now they look just like the regular issues, which makes identification even more of a challenge.

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StampCollector

15 Jan 2021
02:33:25pm

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Jan, all of those stamps are easily identified in my 2017 Scott, here are some numbers to help you out.

Image Not Found

Image Not Found

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Jansimon

collector, seller, MT member
15 Jan 2021
02:46:19pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Many thanks for your help Tony! This has saved me hours of staring at the catalogue pages. I must have missed a couple of the early ones as well. Just shows that there is no way to predict where to look. All of these were in a batch with fairly recent stamps...

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StampCollector

15 Jan 2021
02:49:19pm

Approvals

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that after 2007 the furusato calligraghy was eliminated and all of the prefecture stamps issued afterwards have the regular Japanese lettering including "NIPPON"
This site may help:
http://yushu.or.jp/english/e_sdate/index.html


(Modified by Moderator on 2021-01-16 06:01:17)

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Philatarium

APS #187980
15 Jan 2021
03:04:59pm

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Nigel: The special "Z" prefix stopped at the end of 2007, so they started getting listed again in the main section of Scott beginning with the 2008 issues. (Not sure if SG did the same thing.)

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nigelc

15 Jan 2021
03:39:34pm

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

"Nigel: The special "Z" prefix stopped at the end of 2007, so they started getting listed again in the main section of Scott beginning with the 2008 issues. (Not sure if SG did the same thing.)"



Thanks, I'm not sure if there has been a change in SG as my 2008 catalogue only includes issues up to 2007.

SG has taken the approach of listing stamps separately for each prefecture and where a stamp has been released in more than one prefecture it is listed in each one.

For example a cherry trees set from 13 April 2000 is listed six times as:

- Akita SG 6-11

- Aomori SG 7-12

- Fukushima SG 7-12

- Iwate SG 6-11

- Miyagi SG 7-12

- Yamagata SG 6-11

I guess SG may well have included the later stamps in the main Japan listing.
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Jansimon

collector, seller, MT member
15 Jan 2021
04:00:52pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

One remark re. the identification of the stamps I could not find in the catalogue: the one you identified as Z193 is not the stamp I have. The one I have is a self adhesive version with simulated wave shaped perfs.

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Jansimon

collector, seller, MT member
15 Jan 2021
04:10:23pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

By the way, this discussion made me have another look at the database I had started many years ago. I suppose it could still be of use, if I could find the time to finish and enhance it...
The plan was to create a link from each listed stamp to a picture of that stamp. Well, who knows in these Covid-times. Lack of time is no longer a real issue Laughing

Here is an example of the results so far:

Image Not Found

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www.etsy.com/nl/shop ...
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sheepshanks

15 Jan 2021
04:23:24pm

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Just a thought, for maybe the techies out there. If the images are scanned in could Control F be utilized to look for the Prefecture Japanese inscription?
Maybe the images would have to be converted to pdf first but that could be easily done via Irfanview or another converter program.
Just wondering.

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Jansimon

collector, seller, MT member
15 Jan 2021
04:35:33pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

OCR could work, but only if you have a way to type Kanji...
I would go for a two step approach: identify the Kanji, check what prefecture it is and then look it up in Roman transcription. This is something I have been doing. Still not perfect as you have to rely on the correctness and more importantly the completeness of the info in Scott. Perhaps it would work better with other catalogues, I don't know.

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sheepshanks

15 Jan 2021
04:43:54pm

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

I was working on the basis of cut and paste, as you have the prefecture name at the top of your database and I'm sure I have seen a list of them elsewhere on the web.
A quick look on the net shows a number of ways to get Kanji on your computer, Windows or Apple.
Maybe some enterprising person could put a catalogue together and sell it to what must be a large number of collectors.

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Jansimon

collector, seller, MT member
15 Jan 2021
04:48:53pm

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re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

I see a challenge :-)

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sheepshanks

15 Jan 2021
04:58:30pm

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Just found this site but none of the images load on my windows/firefox laptop.
Maybe someone can get them to load.
http://www.yushu.or.jp/english/e_sdate/index.html
EDIT, ok the issues prior to 2007, ie 2006 and earlier do load the images.

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sheepshanks

15 Jan 2021
05:08:44pm

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Here is a screenshot of one of the pages.
Image Not Found

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sheepshanks

15 Jan 2021
05:11:27pm

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Here is the page that the previous image was linked from.
Image Not Found

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nigelc

15 Jan 2021
05:17:37pm

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

Interesting. I found the later sets that I tried loaded better on my laptop.

The earlier one that I tried (from 2000) had some text formatting issues although the images were fine.

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d1stamper

15 Jan 2021
06:50:12pm

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

I have been using https://colnect.com/en/stamps/identify to save me looking thru page after page for a stamp.

Doug

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StampCollector

15 Jan 2021
10:05:38pm

Approvals

re: Japan prefecture / Furusato stamps - how to find them in the catalogues?...

193 has regular perfs. 3290 is self-adhesive with die cut perfs.
Here they are side by side.

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