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Airmail

Postage Rates

Revenues

Imprinted Postcards

Seals & Labels

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Postage Due

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Military Mail

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Manchurian Local Overprints

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 The Postal Rates of Manchukuo

For months prior to the formation of Manchukuo the Chinese Post Office in Manchuria was subjected to serious harassment from the Japanese. As a result of this the Chinese authorities withdrew their staff and ceased to work 24th July 1932 (for more information about this click here). The Japanese were well prepared and re-opened  Post Offices on 26th July 1932. After the Japanese takeover Chinese stamps were valid for postal use in Manchukuo until 7th September 1932.

The list of postal rates shown below is still under review and will be subject to change as more information becomes available. If anyone finds a postal table not shown below I would appreciate it if you could send me a scan for translation, all new information and suggestions are welcome.

The lists below are organised into different classes of mail, both China and Japan had main 5 classes of domestic mail and these are outlined below. Manchukuo bases these classes on the Japanese model. It is sometimes hard to judge where one category ends and another begins.

The basic classes are shown below, plus Intra City Post. Very few books (if any) mention the Intra City (Same City) service. Local mail travelled at a greatly reduced rate and was often delivered on the same day. Local rates were suspended from November 1940.

It is good to see that the blind were being properly supported at this time with special rates for books and documents in Braille.

 

Japanese Postal Classes   Chinese Postal Classes
     
Class 1  Letters and Oversized Cards, also mail containing Paper Money, Postage Stamps, Cheques (Checks) and Stationary. Unsealed letters travelled at half price.   Class 1 Letters
         
Class 2 Postcards, Packets of Postcards, Reply Cards and Lettercards.   Class 2 Ordinary Postcards
         
Class 3 Authorised Newspapers & Periodicals (issued more than once per month) including copies in Braille.   Class 3 Documents used for Business

Other items

         
Class 4 Printed Matter - "unsealed" circulars and pamphlets, Books, Documents, Photographs, Drawings, Diagrams, Samples, Sketches, Business Papers, Correspondence Courses, Models. Plus Braille equivalents.   Class 4 Printed Matter - Books, Approved Third Class Periodicals, Newspapers that qualify under Article 86 of the Postal Regulations. Approved Braille periodicals. Books for the blind.
         
Class 5 Agricultural Seeds, Commercial Samples.   Class 5 Merchandise Samples
         

 Technically the class system did not apply to International mail, but I have organised these using the similar format to make the table easier to read. These lists are an overview of the most common mail types. A much wider range of services existed, such as Cash on Delivery, Insured mail, Contract Mail etc.,. Details of these can sometimes be found on special tariff tables along with other more obscure postal activities.

Note:- You may encounter the value "5 釐" in some postal tables, this is 5 li, and is equal to fen, the smallest unit of currency available in Manchukuo (1000 li = 1 Yuan).

My thanks to Sylvain Vivance in France for providing the examples of the Manchukuoan tables shown, and to Richard Arent in the USA, for his magnificent translations of the same into English.

 

Domestic Postal Rates

                     

City Post (Intra City)

26-Jul-32 21-Oct-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 17-Nov-40 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44
Letters per 20g  1f 1f 1f 1f 1f 1f 2f n/a n/a n/a
Postcards 1f 1f 1f 1f 1f 1f 1f n/a n/a n/a
Reply Postcards each way (ie; x 2) 1f+1f 1f+1f 1f+1f 1f+1f 1f+1f 1f+1f 1f+1f n/a n/a n/a
Printed Matter         f f 1f (120g) n/a n/a n/a
Small Parcels per 5kg 10f 10f 10f 10f 10f 10f 10f n/a n/a n/a

Class 1 Mail

26-Jul-32 21-Oct-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 17-Nov-40 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44
Standard Letter per 20g 4f 4f 4f 4f 3f 3f 4f 4f 6f 10f

Class 2 Mail

26-Jul-32 21-Oct-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 17-Nov-40 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44
Postcards 2f 2f 2f 2f 1f 1f 2f 2f 3f 5f
Reply Postcards each way (ie; x 2) 2f + 2f 2f  + 2f 2f + 2f 2f + 2f 1f+1f 1f+1f 2f + 2f 2f + 2f 3f + 3f 5f + 5f
Lettercard n/a   n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a 4f 4f 6f 15f

Class 3 Mail

26-Jul-32 21-Oct-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 17-Nov-40 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44
Newspapers per 50g f f f f f f (60g) f (60g) f (60g) 1f (100g) 1f (100g)
Newspapers in Braille n/a   n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a f (600g) f (600g) 1f (1kg) n/a

Class 4 Mail

26-Jul-32 21-Oct-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 17-Nov-40 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44
Printed Matter per 50g 1f 1f 1f 1f 1f 1f 2f (120g) 2f (120g) 4f (100g) 10f (100g)
Printed Matter Braille n/a   n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a f (600g) f (600g) 1f (1kg) n/a

Class 5 Mail

26-Jul-32 21-Oct-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 17-Nov-40 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44
Commercial Samples Agricultural n/a   n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a 1f (120g) 1f (120g) 1f (1kg) n/a
Commercial Samples Seeds n/a   n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a 2f (120g) 2f (120g) 4f (1kg) n/a

Small Parcels

26-Jul-32 21-Oct-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 17-Nov-40 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44
Parcels per 1 kg             MY1.5 MY1.5    

Air Mail

26-Jul-32 21-Oct-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 17-Nov-40 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44
Airmail Letter per 20g n/a n/a 19f 19f 18f 18f 19f 19f 18f** 40f**
Airmail Postcard n/a n/a 9f 9f 8f 8f 8f 8f 15f** 35f**

Additional Services

26-Jul-32 21-Oct-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 17-Nov-40 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44
Registered (add) +6f +6f +6f +6f +6f +6f +8f +8f +12f +30f
Double Registered AR add +12f +12f +12f +12f +12f +12f +12f +12f +18f +50f
Express Mail Classes 1 & 2* n/a   n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a +6f * +6f * +12f * +30f *
Express Mail Classes 3 to 5* per 60g             +10f*      
Express Small Parcels per 1kg*             +Y1.50      
                     
  26-Jul-32 21-Oct-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 17-Nov-40 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44
Notes * From 1937 - only registered mail could be expressed ie; letter rate + registration fee + express fee.

** Airmail was discontinued within Manchukuo from 1942 due to the war, however certain sources dispute this and believe it continued to be used for domestic mail where available..

n/a = not available, blank spaces simply mean I have no information.

 

Postal Rates to Japan

 

                     

Class 1 Mail

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Standard Letter per 20g 4f 4f 4f 3f 3f 4f 6f 10f    

Class 2 Mail

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Postcards 2f 2f 2f 1f 1f 2f 3f 5f    
Reply Postcards each way (ie; x 2) 2f + 2f 2f + 2f 2f + 2f 1f+1f 1f+1f 2f + 2f 3f + 3f 5f + 5f    
Lettercard n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a 4f 6f 15f    

Class 3 Mail

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Newspapers per 50g f f f f 1f 1f n/a n/a    
Newspapers in Braille n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a f (600g) 1f (1kg) n/a    

Class 4 Mail

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Printed Matter per 50g 1f 1f 1f 1f 1f 2f (60g) 4f (100g) 10f (100g)    
Printed Matter Braille n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a f (600g) 1f (1kg) n/a    

Class 5 Mail

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Commercial Samples Agricultural n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a 1f (120g) 1f (1kg) n/a    
Commercial Samples Seeds n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a 2f (120g) 4f (1kg) n/a    

Small Parcels

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Parcels per 1 kg                    

Air Mail

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Airmail Letter per 20g n/a 34f 38f 38f 38f 39f 66f 130f    
Airmail Postcard n/a 17f 20f 19f 19f 20f 63f 55f    
Lettercards           35f    
Small Parcels up to 1kg           3Y    

Additional Services

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Registered (add) n/a +6f +6f +6f +6f +8f +12f +30f    
Double Registered AR add n/a +12f +12f +12f +12f +12f +18f +50f    
Express * n/a n/a n/a    n/a 30f +6f * +12f * +30f *    
  26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Notes * From 1937 - only registered mail could be expressed ie; letter rate + registration fee + express fee.

n/a = not available, blank spaces simply mean I have no information.

 

 

Postal Rates to Korea & KLT

 

                     

Class 1 Mail

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Standard Letter per 20g 4f 4f 4f 3f 3f 4f 6f 10f    

Class 2 Mail

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Postcards 2f 2f 2f 1f 1f 2f 3f 5f    
Reply Postcards each way (ie; x 2) 2f + 2f 2f + 2f 2f + 2f 1f+1f 1f+1f 2f + 2f 3f + 3f 5f + 5f    
Lettercard n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a 4f 6f 15f    

Class 3 Mail

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Newspapers per 50g f f f f 1f 1f n/a n/a    
Newspapers in Braille n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a f (600g) 1f (1kg) n/a    

Class 4 Mail

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Printed Matter per 50g 1f 1f 1f 1f 1f 2f (60g) 4f (100g) 10f (100g)    
Printed Matter Braille n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a f (600g) 1f (1kg) n/a    

Class 5 Mail

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Commercial Samples Agricultural n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a 1f (120g) 1f (1kg) n/a    
Commercial Samples Seeds n/a n/a n/a    n/a n/a 2f (120g) 4f (1kg) n/a    

Small Parcels

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Parcels per 1 kg                    

Air Mail*

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Airmail Letter per 20g n/a   19f 24f 23f 23f 24f 41f 80f    
Airmail Postcard n/a   n/a 12f 11f 11f 12f 18f 35f    
Lettercard           20f    

Additional Services

26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Registered (add) n/a +6f +6f +6f +6f +8f +12f +30f    
Double Registered AR add n/a +12f +12f +12f +12f +12f +18f +50f    
Express ** n/a n/a n/a    n/a 30f +6f ** +12f ** +30f **    
  26-Jul-32 3-Nov-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-34 26-Jan-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44    
Notes *Dairen in the KLT and 신의주 Sinuiju in Korea were charged the domestic rate for airmail, the above rates apply to all other destinations in the KLT and Korea.

** From 1937 - only registered mail could be expressed ie; letter rate + registration fee + express fee.

n/a = not available, blank spaces simply mean I have no information.

 

Postal Rates to China

Initially the stamps of Manchukuo were not recognised by China. Customers were charged again at twice Chinese postal rates by means of Postage Due stamps when the mail reached the Chinese Postal Service.

 

Class 1 Mail

26-Jul-32 1-Mar-34 10-Jan-35 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44      
Standard Letter per 20g 4f 3f 4f 4f 5f 6f 10f      

Class 2 Mail

26-Jul-32 1-Mar-34 10-Jan-35 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44      
Postcards 2f 1f 2f 2f 2f 3f 5f      
Reply Postcards each way (ie; x 2) 2f + 2f 1f+1f 2f + 2f 2f + 2f 2f+2f 3f + 3f 5f + 5f      
Lettercard n/a n/a   n/a n/a   n/a n/a n/a      

Class 3 Mail

26-Jul-32 1-Mar-34 10-Jan-35 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44      
Newspapers per 50g n/a    n/a n/a n/a f (60g) 1f (100g) n/a      
Newspapers in Braille n/a    n/a n/a n/a f (600g) 1f (1kg) n/a      

Class 4 Mail

26-Jul-32 1-Mar-34 10-Jan-35 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44      
Printed Matter per 50g 1f 1f 1f 1f 2f (120g) 4f (100g) 10f (100g)      
Printed Matter Braille n/a    n/a n/a n/a f (600g) 1f (1kg) n/a      

Class 5 Mail

26-Jul-32 1-Mar-34 10-Jan-35 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44      
Commercial Samples n/a    n/a n/a n/a 2f (100g) 4f (100g) n/a      
Advertising Material pr 50g f f f f f (60g) 1f (100g) n/a      

Small Parcels

26-Jul-32 1-Mar-34 10-Jan-35 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44      
Parcels up to 1 kg         40f          

Air Mail

26-Jul-32 1-Mar-34 10-Jan-35 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44      
Airmail Letter per 20g n/a n/a n/a n/a 25f 41f 80f      
Airmail Postcard n/a n/a n/a n/a            

Additional Services

26-Jul-32 1-Mar-34 10-Jan-35 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44      
Registered (add) 6f +6f +8f +8f +8f +12f +30f      
Double Registered AR add 12f +12f +12f +12f +13f +18f +50f      
Express ** n/a n/a +8f +8f +8f +12f ** n/a      
  26-Jul-32 1-Mar-34 10-Jan-35 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44      
Notes ** From 1937 - only registered mail could be expressed ie; letter rate + registration fee + express fee.

n/a = not available, blank spaces simply mean I have no information.

 

International Postal Rates

                     

Standard Mail

26-Jul-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44        
Letters to 20g each extra 20g in addition shown + 25f +15f 10f + 6f 10f + 6f 20f + 12f 20f + 12f 20f + 12f        
Postcards 15f 6f 6f 10f 10f n/a        
Reply Postcards each way (ie; x 2) 15f+15f 6f + 6f 6f + 6f 10f+10f 10f+10f n/a        
Lettercard n/a n/a n/a   n/a n/a n/a        

Newspapers

26-Jul-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44        
Newspapers per 50g 2f 2f 2f 2f n/a n/a        
Newspapers in Braille n/a n/a n/a   n/a n/a n/a        

Printed Matter

26-Jul-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44        
Printed Matter per 50g 5f 2f 2f 4f 4f n/a        
Printed Matter Braille 1kg n/a 2f 2f 2f n/a   n/a        

Commercial Mail

26-Jul-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44        
Commercial Samples up to 100g then per 50g + n/a 4f + 2f 4f + 2f 8f + 4f n/a n/a        
Printed Papers up to 250g then per 50g + n/a 10f + 2f 10f + 2f 20f + 4f n/a n/a        

Small Parcels

26-Jul-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44        
Parcels per 1 kg                    

Air Mail

26-Jul-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44        
Airmail n/a n/a n/a   n/a n/a n/a        

Additional Services

26-Jul-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44        
Registered (add) +25f +16f +16f +16f +20f +30f        
Double Registered AR add +50f +32f +26f +26f +35f +50f        
Express ** n/a +40f +32f +40f n/a  n/a        
  26-Jul-32 1-Jan-34 1-Mar-36 01-Apr-37 1-Mar-42 1-Oct-44        
Notes n/a = not available, blank spaces simply mean I have no information.

 

Tariff Table Examples

1936 Postage rates shown of a Postcard Wrapper from Harbin.

Click here for more details (.xls file).

1937 Postal Tariff Issued by Hsinking Central Post Office. Click here for more details (.doc file).

1943 Fee Shedule from Red Cross Booklet