are from the first series of
Japanese stamps from 1871 - the Dragon series. These
are not genuine but forgeries. Such forgeries is often
much better than these, but can be identified. Forgeries is typically found in old collections.
The SSJP library has books on how to identify forgeries
or you can
find more on Internet
a genuine dragon stamp ½ sen from the second series 1872.
Here are genuine bird stamps - 15
and 45 sen from 1875. This was the first series with the
bird motives in the world.
This is forgeries of the bird
series from 1875. There are typically 2 small characters on each side of the bird. Often a cancel is places just above them as in these examples. More information at ISJP.
1 sen in the Koban series from 1883. 3 postmarks
- at the left a large Bota (Bamboo) postmark from Yokohama, in the middle a non-postal marking,
at the right a Maruichi postmark. All these are domestic
postmarks. Non-postal postmarks typically
has a much lower value.
Two series from 1920. Above for the
first census. Below the Shinto shrine for