Railway subjects of any kind form, perhaps, one of the largest areas of thematic collecting in philately. This article attempts to trace stamps from any country in the world that show Japanese steam engines.
These will include engines made abroad and sent to Japan, as was the case in the early days of its railway history, and engines then made in Japan for domestic or overseas use, in Manchukuo and Korea, for instance, or in the countries Japan occupied during the war. So, it will be broader in scope than the three articles that appeared in GSM in July 2009 and April and May 2010 which concentrated on the five two-stamp steam engine sets Japan issued from November 1974 to June 1975.
There are some unexpected countries in the list, like Burundi or Bhutan for instance, who do not have a railway system, which makes one wonder why they would produce stamps featuring railway subjects, far less from Japan. Also, quite how many of these products reached the ‘country of origin’ and were available to the public for use on conventional mail items is open to question.
To find out more, see the latest GSM.