Ryukyu Islands Stamps - Martial Arts

George C. Baxley
PO Box 807
Alamogordo, NM 88311

(505) 437-8707- (505) 434-1571 (Fax)

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Ryukyu Islands
Martial Arts in Philately


The page is devoted to philatelic material (stamps, covers, postal stationery, etc.) related to the martial arts in the Ryukyu Islands. If you have images or information that would contribute to this page, I would appreciate hearing from you. Thanks, George

Kendo (Japanese Fencing): In 1962 the Government of the Ryukyu Islands issued this stamp depicting a Kendo player. Kendo is traditional Japanese fencing.

Ryukyu Islands 104 Kendo

The stamp was issued to commemorate the All-Japan East-West Kendo Tournament held in Naha, Okinawa July 24 and 25, 1962. That Tournament and the Eight All-Japan Championships (national) Japanese Fencing contest were held at the same time on Okinawa and this was a very significant event. Kendo was introduced into the Ryukyu Islands about 1879.

The stamp is Scott 104, JPS commemorative 109, JSDA commemorative 30. It was issued in sheets of 20 and is collected in that format by many stamp collectors. Follow this link to see a sheet of 20 of the Kendo stamp.

The next Ryukyu Islands martial arts issue is the 1964-5 set featuring Karate.
Scott 125
Karate Stance
Ryukyu Islands 125 Karate
Scott 126
Strengthening of the
Hands and Feet
Ryukyu Islands 126 Karate
Scott 127
Ryukyu Islands 127 Karate

This set was issued in what is know as Mihon format. Mihon (Specimen) stamps were, as a general rule, distributed to collectors and the philatelic press for publicity purposes. Mihon stamps are scarce because they were issued in very limited quantities. Almost one million sets of the regular stamp were issued (999,000) but only 1,500 copies of Scott 125 Mihon were distributed and 2,000 each of Scott 126 and 127 Mihons. When you combine the very low quantity distributed with the demand for topical martial arts stamps, the Ryukyu Islands 125-7 set in Mihon is a very hard to find set. The 2004 Scott Specialized Catalogue value for the regular set is $1.50 where the value for the same set with the Mihon overprint is $190.00.

If the Ryukyu 125-7 mihon set is currently available it will be listed here.

There is a constant plate variety on 126 which is know as the Broken "C" variety. In this variety the bottom part of the sign is deteriorated and the diagonal stroke of the cent sign is broken.

For more information on the 126 variety or to order it in a sheet of 20, click here.

You can also order the 125-7 set in complete sheets sets of 20 by visiting the above page.

The set is available with each stamp canceled the first day of use on a folder with a matching metal engraving for $30.00 plus postage. To see this unit, click here.

The Butokuden in Naha. This is a picture (from a picture post card) of the Butokuden in Naha shortly after the invasion in April of 1945. The caption on the picture reads "Former Police Gymnasium, Naha, Okinawa."

This mint (unused) picture post card can be purchased.
For information, click here

Butokuden in Naha - 1945

Butokudens were established throughout Japan, and pre-war Japanese occupied territories, as central training facilities for Martial Arts and physical education.

Front and back views of the Naha Butokuden from photographs.

To see other Martial Arts stamps, I invite you to visit my topical stamps web page by following this link to the topic of Martial Arts on Stamps



George C. Baxley, PO Box 807, Alamogordo, NM 88311

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