ISJP Monograph 21: The Large Commemorative Datestamps of Japan
by Charles A. L. Swenson
This monograph forms a companion volume to the author’s The Variant Color Datestamps [VCDs] of Japan published as ISJP Monograph 19 in 2005. VCDs commemorated events of a local nature or of comparatively minor importance at the national level, whereas the Large Commemorative Datestamps (LCDs) commemorated events of major national importance in Japan, in particular promoting the monarchy, the army and navy, the hosting of expositions, and the iconography of State Shintō.
Not surprisingly, there have been a number of previous compilations of the LCDs authorized for use in Japan in the period 1902-1944. However, this study is by far the most listing includes not only the title of each event commemorated, the details of its authorized post offices, and dates of use, but also large pictorial examples of each LCD.
In addition, the majority of entries provide accompanying narratives and notes principally about the elements of the LCD design and the event it commemorates. This might also include comprehensive produced to date, building upon the previous compilations, adding information from other sources, identifying inconsistencies, and correcting errors. Its comprehensive additional illustrations, which are typically stamps issued to commemorate the same event. This is the first complete listing of LCDs to provide such accompanying information, and sets it apart from compilations which have preceded it.
The thoroughness of the author is evident throughout the monograph, and probably best illustrated by his listing of kanji names for the authorized post offices as the names appear on each LCD, not in the form currently used. This innovation better assists readers in identifying LCD markings which they might obtain.
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