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Kwantung Leased Territory Revenue Issues

Prior to 1932 Japan leased part of the Liaodong peninsula from China, this included the important strategic ports of Darien and Port Arthur. After the formation of Manchukuo this area came under the notional ownership of the Manchukuo government and Japan was granted a new lease. The  Kwantung Leased Territory (KLT),  although considered part of Manchukuo, was wholly administered by the Japanese. The Japanese issued their own tobacco tax revenue stamps for use in this region and some of these appear below.

Much of the information below is the result of speculation, various writers on the subject have their own ideas about these stamps. The most reliable source is probably The Standard Catalog of Japanese Revenue Stamps, by M. Shimomura, 1981, but in places the information below differs and may be right or wrong.

         
         

Kwantung Cigarette Tax Paid Stamp (Outer Package)

Issued 20th June 1936 this revenue stamp was designed to seal an outer package of cigarettes and was intended to be torn when the pack was opened to avoid re-use. This is why the stamp needed to be so large. The tobacco was graded 1 to 7, with the class shown in Arabic numerals in each corner and in Chinese characters inside the oval cartouche. The full set therefore consists on 7 stamps.

Top three characters 關東 Kwantung Bureau
Three Characters below the building 煙草稅 Cigarette Tax
Two characters in the cloud shape Five, Grade
Bottom four characters 納稅 Pay Tax, 濟證 Certificate

The stamps were engraved on watermarked white paper, details of printers and designers are unknown.

Perf 1 x 12. Size 46.3mm x 65.7mm. Sheets contain 10 stamps (2x5).

The stamp depicts The Kwantung Prefecture Offices - note the Japanese flag.

            

The colour coding for the grades is: Class 1, Red - Class 2, Light Blue - Class 3, Brown - Class 4, Dark Blue - Class 5 Mid Blue - Class 6, Green - Class 7, Purple. The example shown is Class 5 mid blue. The smaller red label measures 33.4mm x 46mm - it may be some kind of design proof.

         

Kwantung Cigarette Tax Paid Stamp (Packet)

Issued 20th June 1936. This issue was used as a tax paid revenue for cigarettes. The set uses the same seven colours one for each grade of tobacco. The colour coding is the same as the above with an extra value included for 250 Class 6 cigarettes (this is common all other values are scarce).

The top panel reads 關東 Kwantung Bureau  煙草稅 Cigarette Tax
Bottom four characters 納稅 Pay Tax, 濟證 Certificate

The stamps were engraved on watermarked thin white paper, details of printers and designers are unknown.

Perf 13  x 13. Size 18.5mm x 22mm

The stamp depicts The Kwantung Prefecture Offices.

 

1st Class

Red

2nd Class

Pale Blue

3rd Class

Brown

4th Class

Dark Blue

5th Class

Blue

         
  6th Class

Green

7th Class

Purple

 
    250    
         
         

Large Kwantung Cigarette Voucher

This item is listed in Encyclopedia Japanese Philately as a cigarette voucher which is printed in several different colours. It seems to have served the same purpose as a cigarette tax paid stamp, in that it sealed the packet. The stamps in use on a cigarette packets can be seen here.

The top panel reads 關東, Kwantung Government Office - below this 香烟艸证票 Cigarette Voucher

Litho, Perf 13. Design Size 24mm Diameter. No gum.

The stamp depicts a cherry blossom design. (Click on the image for a high resolution picture).

Shimomura lists a yellow and blue vesion of this stamp but is unaware of the red.  A. W. Bendig also mentions this stamp or seal in his notes, he describes it as being red (as the remnant below) and perf 12.

         
 
       
A very similar design existed in Japanese Occupied Micronesia and this is listed in Barefoot's South East Asia Revenues as a Tobacco Tax Stamp dating to c1935, in this instance overprinted with a monetary value. My theory is that these were Government issue cigarettes, which may explain why they carry a voucher instead of the usual tax paid stamp. Complete unused stamps are almost unknown and the condition is usually very poor.
         

Small Kwantung Cigarette Voucher

Date Unknown. The top panel reads 關東, Kwantung Government Office - below this 香烟艸证票 Cigarette Voucher

Litho, Perf 13. Design Size 16mm Diameter. No gum.

Note that size and the the inner border of the first stamp differs from the set above. It is possible that these revenues were used on the smaller packs of 5 cigarettes with a paper wrapper, larger quantities were sold in cardboard cigarette cartons. The yellow example appears on a packet of five  "Pirate" Cigarettes by W. D. & H. O. Wills of England that can be can be seen here. Used stamps all seem to carry an overprinted value in Japanese sen.

         
Red

(Assumed)

   
    Opt 45 sen    
 

Shimomura list four colours red, orange, yellow and grey/purple. I suspect that only three colours existed and that these are red, orange/yellow and grey/purple. Both sets appear to use the same colours.

         

Kwantung Cigarette Cigarette Voucher - Third Design

This is a very similar design to the above, possibly issued a little later. The top panel reads 關東, Kwantung Government Office - below this 香烟艸证 Cigarette Voucher

Litho, Perf 13. Design Size 19mm x 22. No gum.

The stamp depicts a cherry blossom design. (Click on the image for a high resolution picture)

       

This stamp is not recorded and my guess is that it dates to 1936, it has clearly evolved from the designs shown above.

         
         

Kwantung Tobacco Revenue

This stamp is thought to have been issued in 1939 and the value shown is the retail price of the tobacco purchased including tax. There are 16 values in the set which runs from 5f to 90f.

The top panel reads 捲菸 Cigarette, Tax, 驗訖證 Certificate
Below this 定價 Price
The value of each stamp is shown in the centre panel.

The stamps were engraved on un-watermarked thin white paper, details of printers and designers are unknown.

Perf 10  x 10. Size 19.5mm x 23.3mm

The stamp depicts Tobacco Leaves.

First Issue

         
? 18f?

20f 30f

38f

         
       
    Opt - feng    
         
This is the first issue of duty paid Kwantung tobacco revenues. The stamps had a panel into which the cigarette packed value (inclusive of duty) was printed in red or violet. This part example shown would probably have had a value of 18f. These are hard to find even in poor condition as they had to be torn to open the packet. A 20f and 30f version has been recorded by Barefoot and the 38f is shown in  Standard Catalog The Japanese Revenue Stamps, by M. Shimomura, (1981) and there may be many more.
         
    Second Issue    
         
8f

         

Imperf

   
15f 16f
         

Cancelled

  Early Issue
Later Issue        
90f
         
In this case the value is incorporated into the design, these are the most common. The reason for the 14f being imperf and the meaning of the cancel shown is unknown. Note that the Chinese number 1 within the cartouche is different in the two types of 18f shown, this appears to have gone unreported in books on this subject.
         
    Third Issue    
         
     
10f on 4f 10f on 5f 17f on 6f 18f on ? 20f on 5f
         
     
  20f on 8f 30f on 10f 30f on 17f  
         
c1944. Surcharged example of the above stamps. The surcharge shown in the black panel in the centre shows the new value in Chiao with Temporary Use. The two rectangles at the base blank out the original value. Other values are also known to have been surcharged with 10f on 5f, 20f on 5f and 30f in 17f, it must be assumed there was a shortage of these stamps to make this necessary.
         
    Post War    
         
       
         
c1946. Republic of China post war surcharge reading Applied for 9th class tobacco North East China.
         

  Click here to see remnants of these Cigarette Revenues in use.

 

For more information see South East Asia Revenues by John Barefoot and published in 2006 by J Barefoot Ltd and The Standard Catalog of Japanese Revenue Stamps, by M. Shimomura, 1981 and Encyclopedia Japanese Philately.