85 Sen Betsu-No
Supplementary Surcharge
Postal Cards

First Issue of the FTDD

January 1969

First Issue 
of FTDD 1969

The first issue of From The Dragons Den was written by Mr. J.C. ("Jake") Templeton. He had the first issue printed, at his own expense, working evenings for the printer to pay off the bill. The issue was sent to known Ryukyu collectors and only after sufficient favorable response was received, was the Society organized. Many consider Jake to be the founder of the RPSS. Jake continued to edit and publish FTDD through its first eight years, at no expense to the Society.

Thank you, ol' dragon!

The Ryukyu Islands occupy a unique place in United States philately!

In the twenty-seven years that the Island Postal Services operated under U.S. Administration [from April of 1945 until May 15, 1972], it offers EVERYTHING IN ONE COUNTRY that exists in the entire field of philately.

Beginning with free emergency mail between members of a family on Okinawa, it went on to include the worlds only mimeographed stamp [Kume Shima provisional], postmasters provisional postage stamps, stampless covers, definitive and commemorative issues [which include varieties, errors, essays, specimens, proofs, and separate printings], airmails, special delivery, revenues fiscal tax stamps, labels, seals and postal stationery which included airletter sheets, aerogrammes, cash registration envelopes, official business envelopes of various types, official business postal cards of various types, air postal cards, and election postal cards plus a good number of other material.

From George MacLellan's "The Commentator"

Bush Album page heading

85 Sen Betsu-No
Supplementary Surcharge
Postal Cards

Type I & Type III

Post card rates were increased February 1, 1951 to 1 yen. After small denomination postage stamps were depleted or found unusable, TWO types of HANDSTAMPS and THREE types of TYPOGRAPHED (hand set, printed) were used to surcharge an estimated 233,300+ additional 15 sen single and double postal cards.

To make up this rate, 15 sen cards were surcharged with an additional 85 sen valuation. The cards were recalled from existing stocks of the post offices and were initally surcharged with a rubber handstamp.

Two types of card stock were used on these cards, Tan Paper and Gray Paper. Frequently it is difficult to distinguish between the two because the normal aging process can give the gray paper a tannish tone. The gray cards contain flakes of gray-blue (purpleish) pigment which are not in the tan paper stock. These pigment flakes are much less visible on the single cards and are more pronounced on the double cards. On the single cards the flakes are widely dispersed and more faint than on the double cards.
This information is from the web site of George Baxley (http://www.BaxleyStamps.com /ryukyu.htm).

Five types of surcharges were applied to 15 sen postal cards in 1951.

Surcharges, handstamped and typographed in Vermilion, except as noted

Surcharge Reads:
(85 Sen / Additional Paid / Ryukyu / Communications Administration).


The Type illustrations and Type numbers are from Part II of the RPSS Specialized Catalog.

The handstamps were carved in rubber by a local Naha seal maker and because a poor grade of rubber was used, a gradual natural deterioration of the handstamps occurred, also caused by light and heavy pressure in the application process. This caused an infinite variety of impressions from expansion and distortion.
Total Handstamps issued: 101,300+

Types I and II are the handstamps in their original state.
Types IA and IIA are the same handstamps, deteriorated, expanded and distorted.

Type I (V4C - V4C-A, V6C - V6C-C, V8C, VX4C - VX4C-A) small rectangle, 19-21 x 23-25mm.
43,400+ issued
View Handstamp Cards, Type I

Type IA (V4C-B - V4C-C, V6C-D - V6C-G, VX4C-B - VX4C-C) large rectangle, 22-23 x 26-27mm.
8,000+ issued
View Handstamp Cards, Type IA

Handstamp type I & Ia

Type II (V5C - V5C-A, V7C - V7C-A, V7C-D - V7C-E, VX5C-B) small rectangle, 20-21 x 24-24.5mm.
40,000+ issued
View Handstamp Cards, Type II

Type IIA (V5C-B - V5C-D, V7C-B - V7C-C, V7C-F - V7C-G, VX5C - VX5C-A) large rectangle, 22-23.5 x 25-26mm.
9,900+ issued
View Handstamp Cards, Type IIA

Handstamp Type II & IIA


The labor of handstamping the cards was tedious, double cards were cut in two and three different printing companies were contracted, resulting in three different surcharge types. All of them were machine overprinted surcharges and were manually assembled, using individual pieces of handset rule and type, no two were ever exactly the same. Because each of the printing bases, for all of the machine overprinted cards were manually assembled, using individual pieces of handset rule and type, no two printing bases were ever exactly the same measurement wise. Subtle variations in both the frame lines and characters exists.
Total Typographed issued: E132,000+

Type III (V9C - V9C-C, VX6C - VX6C-A) Rectangle 23 x 27-27.5mm, CHO in original form.
60,000+ impressions issued
View Typographed Cards, Type III

Typographed, type III, 
3 of 4 basesTypographed, type III, 
3 of 4 bases
Three of four printing bases

Type IV & Type IV-A (V10R - V10R-Ca) Rectangle 23-23.5 x 26.6-27mm) CHO in simplified form.
70,000+ impressions issued
View Typographed Cards, Type IV
View Typographed Cards, Type IV-A

Typographed, type IV & IV-A, 
3 of 4 bases,
Three of four printing bases

Type V (V11R - V11R-C) Rectangle 23-23.5 x 26.5-27mm) CHO in simplified form.
2,000 impressioned issued
View Typographed Cards, Type V

Typographed, type V, 1 of 2 
One of two printing bases

Information contained on this web site is from the RYUKYU PHILATELIC SPECIALISTS SOCIETY, LTD's various specialized catalogs and publications and personal sources of the web site owner.

Articles in three issues of FTDD were written about these cards.
Vol. 7 No. 1 April 1975, Picture of VX6C-A with shifted and smeared overprint. Vol. 9 No. 3 October 1977, Extensive article on V11R "An Unheralded Classic Ryukyu Rarity . . . Schoberlin V11R!" Vol. 17 No. 2 April 1985, Extensive article on V7C-A & V7C-B "A Tale of Two Cards"

Surcharge Type I is Scott Catalog Type a
Type IA is b
Type II is c
Type IIA is d
Type III is e
Type IV is f
Type V is g

Here is a page of RPSS & Scott Catalog Concordance

The Ryukyu Philatelic Specialist Society Secretary's address is:
Attn: Laura Edmonds RPSS PO Box 240177 Charlotte NC 28224-0177

Member of the RPSS
RPSS #295, Richard Lewis
Visit the Ryukyu Philatelic Specialist Society
Website at www.ryukyustamps. org

Official RPSS WebSite

The heading displayed on my web pages is from the album pages produced by
Joseph V. Bush Inc.,
P.O. Box 626, Bonita, CA 91908
to a vintage and long time Ryukyu stamp dealer and supporter and promoter of Ryukyu philately.


Illustrations on this page are from
"Specialized Catalog of the Postal Issues of the Ryukyu (Liu Ch'iu) Islands", Part II
This is a personal web site and I'm Dick Lewis and I have been a member of the RPSS since 1973
emailicon Please email me with any comments or suggestions.

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For God So Loved The World...
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"I Know Whom I Have Believed"
2 Timothy 1:12

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