9) Registered, Dead Letter Office & Advertised


The earliest known handstamp including 'REGISTERED' is from Yokohama, dated 1876, in a double circle execution. Octagonal, small and medium circle types were used till 1892 mainly in Yokohama. From Kobe, Nagasaki and Tokyo octagonal versions exist.
9rld1: After searching for years I now finally obtained a cover with the early Yokohama registration mark: cover with a 20 Sen Cherry Blossom (1875 issue) and a 1 Sen black old Koban from Shanghai via Yokohama and San Francisco to Louisville. 
  • I.J. Postal Agency Shanghai: Oct 15 (1878)
  • Registered Yokohama: Oct 25 (1878)
    San Francisco, CAL Nov 13 1878 REGISTERED
Registered Yokohama

9roh2: Registered cover from Akamagasaki to Boston, via Kobe and Yokohama, with a 5 Sen UPU and a 10 Sen old Koban. 
  • Akamagasaki Bota
  • Akamagasaki domestic N3B3 21. 1. 23 (Jan. 23, 1888)
  • Kobe domestic N3B3 21. 1. 25
  • Kobe Registered Octogonal Handstamp in violet: 25 JAN 1888
  • Yokohama Medium Single Circle Registered in violet: 29 JAN 1888
  • Framed R from Yokohama
  • Registered San Francisco: Feb 17, 1888
  • Boston, Mass. Registry Div. :Feb 25 1888
Remarks: the stamps are in very poor condition and I would not have included this cover in my collection but for the very scarce Kobe Octogonal register handstamp, which for many years I had been looking for.
Kobe Registered Octogonal Handstamp

9roh3: Registered Cover from Vladivostok in Russia to C. E. Boeddinghaus, a German trading company in Dejima, Nagasaki and from there via Yokohama, San Francisco and New York to Odessa in Russia. Stamp: 20 Sen old Koban.
  • Nagasaki Initial cancellation "N"
  • Nagasaki Registered Octogonal Handstamp in violet: AUG 29 1887
  • Registered Yokohama Small Single Circle with serifs: 8 SEP 1887
  • Framed R from Yokohama
  • San Francisco and New York transit marks
  • Arrival stamp Odessa: 10 OKT 1887
Remarks:  The companies Boeddinghaus and Holme, Ringer & Co. were forwarding mail from Vladivostok, Siberia. The seal on this registered letter shows Russian letter markings, confirming the origin of the letter. What a round-the-world trip this letter had to take from Russia to Russia! But it probably was the fastest routing, faster than the one request by the sender: Russia via Port Said.
Nagasaki Registered Octogonal Handstamp

9rsm1: Registered Cover, opened up for better viewing, with a block 4 of old 4 Sen and a block of 6 plus one single 2 Sen UPU Koban stamp, from Nikko via Yokohama, San Francisco and New York to Berlin from where it was forwarded to Lautenbach in Germany.
  • Nikkomachi, Shimotsuke KG type domestic cancel: 8 11
  • Registered Yokohama Small Single Circle with serifs, 21mm dia: 16 AUG 1885

Registered Yokohama Small Single Circle



9rsm2: New Koban 20 Sen, orange, vertical pair on piece

  • Yokohama Registered Small Single Circle without serifs 22 mm diameter, in black: 12 SEP 1889
Yokohama Registered Small Single Circle

9rsm3: Registered cover from Ichigaya in Tokyo via Yokohama to Manchester with two 10 Sen new Koban stamps.
  • Ichigaya - local postoffice mark in small circle, red
  • Japanese register mark in frame, red
  • Unframed red R mark
  • Tokio Medium Circle with 4 digit year: 27 MAY 1891
  • Yokohama Registered, lettering without serifs, 24 mm diameter
  • Manchester Registered 29 JU 91 on the backside
The local Ichigaya postoffice entered the red ink register number 163 by hand and confirmed the registration with their little, round and red handstamp (on left side). The black number 9784 is probably the Yokohama registration number.
Yokohama Registered
Yokohama Registered


Before undeliverable mail was returned to the sender it was advertised in newspapers, a custom still practised today. Advertised letters used to receive the handstamp 'ADVERTISED'. Several types are known from Yokohama, Tokyo and Nagasaki.
9ad1: This letter is a favourite of mine, thus the detailed explanation. 

Postal stations and time:

  • St. Pierre et Miquelon 19.11.1876
  • Halifax 22. 11. 1876 on back
  • Montreal 25. 11. 1876 on back
  • Detroid PAID ALL in red 29.11.1876
  • San Francisco PAID ALL in red 1.1877
  • Yokohama PAID ALL in red 24.1.1877
  • Tokyo N2B2 24.1.1877 on back
  • Yokohama KB2 27.1.1877 on flap
Mr. Georges Hilaire Bouscet (1846-1937) from France was legal adviser to the Japanese Government and the author of the book 'Japon de nous jours'

9ad2:: Cover from Germany to Yokohama. Strictly speaking this cover does not belong into a Koban collection. There is no Koban stamp on the cover and the letter is too modern for the Koban area. Yet I like to present it, because it shows the successor of the advertised handstamp from Yokohama shown above.
Mr. Bishop shows a very similar handstamp in 'The Roman Letter Postmarks of Japan' but with a much later date: MAR 15 1914. The addressee was not found and the letter was returned to Germany.

9ad3: Postcard from Roubaix in France to Tokyo 
  • Roubaix Gare Nord: 11 DEC 99
  • Tokio Medium single Circle: Jan 00
  • ADVERTISED, Tokyo 1/2 1900 (Feb. 1), in red
    Domestic Maruichi, Musashi, Tokyo
Remarks: The advertisement was successful, Mr. Kitamura was found, his address added and, I assume, the domestic Maruichi marking indicates the delivery. The date of the Maruichi is hard to read - probably 1900, Feb. 11). ADVERTISED, Tokyo 1/2 1900




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