Today in Postal History


Japan to England
January 12, 1894

This registered cover was sent from Tokyo (Tokio) where it
was struck with two CDS in Japanese and one CDS in western characters.

Meiji Japan was the name used to identify it as the modern Japan of the Meiji era (1868-1912).

The sender requested Via America (San Francisco) and Registered.

Registration was shown by a preprinted TOKIO, JAPAN label with a script serial number.
Note the Japanese characters added to provide instructions for handling the item.

Via America (San Francisco) reminds us that the Transsiberian Railway was not yet complete.
Mail from Japan to Europe was sent Via Siberia when it was completed.

The cover then proceeded to Yokohama where it arrived on January 13.
Yokohama was the embarkation point for mail to areas in and around the Pacific.

I note there is no evidence that the letter passed through San Francisco.
It is possible that the mail was in a closed parcel which proceeded directly
to England without ever being treated individually in in the United States.

The cover arrived in the London Registry branch one month later on February 12.
The address was probably serviced by the North Woolwich
branch where it was received the same day.

The cover is franked with two 1888 10 sen brown orange Imperial Crest (Scott 79).
On the back, there is also an 1889 5 sen gray black of the same series (Scott 75).


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