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The International Society for Japanese Philately

The International Society for Japanese Philately was founded in Canada in 1945. Membership is worldwide and open to any philatelist of ethical reputation.

The Society is non-political and non-commercial with only one objective: to promote an intelligent interest in the philately and postal history of Japan and former Japanese colonies (Korea, Sakhalin [Karafuto], Taiwan), territories (Kwantung, the South Manchurian Railway Zone, and the mandated Caroline, Mariana and Marshall Islands) and occupied areas (China and Southeast Asia), including Manchoukuo, the Ryukyu Islands, Japanese seapost offices and other civilian and military post offices abroad, and foreign post offices in Japan.

The ISJP's chief endeavor is publishing, and it has 3 major series of publications, all in 81/2 x 11 inch size, offset-lithographed with high-quality illustrations.

(1) The magazine Japanese Philately (usually four to six issues a year) copiously illustrated with photographs and maps, and concentrating on information that is likely to be of lasting value, in both short and long articles. The standard length of an issue is 48 pages, with occasional issues of even greater length (see the review from Michael Laurence that follows).

(2) Annual and cumulative indexes to Japanese Philately. Each issue of the magazine itself has a simplified subject index on the back cover (instead of the conventional table of contents), but the ISJP has also pioneered in publishing very detailed and systematic indexes that permit a reader to locate quickly whatever has appeared in Japanese Philately on any subject.

(3) A series of ISJP Monographs, each consisting of a single study too long for inclusion in Japanese Philately. Monographs are usually supplied to members either free or for a fee that covers printing cots. New titles are always in preparation.

The ISJP also offers members many other benefits, including:

(4) A highly respected expertization service.

(5) A question-and-answer column in Japanese Philately.

(6) Back issues of Japanese Philately as long as stocks last.

(7) A photocopy service for copying articles in issues no longer in stock.

(8) Each member may have two free 4-line advertisements each year in Japanese Philately, and additional advertising space at very low rates

(9) A Japanese postal stationery new issue service.

Whether your philatelic interest in Japan or related areas is recent or of long standing, and whether it is general or specialized, we think you will find membership in the ISJP beneficial and enjoyable, for reasons discussed on the next page. It is one of the world's largest specialist societies, with members in approximately thirty nations.

Japan is an interesting and important country, and its stamps, postal markings, and postal stationery are well designed and well produced. Collectors are also attracted to Japanese philately because the possible fields of collecting are so numerous and varied. For example: classic regular issues, modern regular issues, special issues, prefectural issues, topicals, perforation varieties, printing varieties, paper varieties, postal stationery, postal markings, covers, postal history, specimen overprints, revenues and forgeries.

Some ISJP members collect only one or a few of these; others collect most or all of them. Some collect material from all parts of the Japanese empire: others collect only Japan proper, or only Manchoukuo or Ryukyu Islands or one or more of the Japanese occupied areas in China or Southeast Asia. Some ISJP members are just starting a Japanese collection, others have had many years of experience in the Japanese field, and still others fall somewhere in between. Whether a member's interests are general or specialized, the ISJP's objective is to provide (al low cost) useful information not available elsewhere.

When the Society was organized in 1945, it had only three members. Since then it has grown to be one of the world's largest single-nation specialist societies, passing the 1,000-member mark in 1968. Because the unit cost of printing decreases as the quantity increases, a large society can publish a periodical at a modest price, and provide a forum for a wide variety of articles.

On the other hand, the ISJP is a non-profit organization with no paid employees. Except for printing, the ISJP's work is done entirely by unpaid volunteers in their spare time. This is why issues of Japanese Philately cannot be published on a precise schedule like that of a general philatelic magazine with a full-time salaried editorial and clerical staff.

A year's volume of Japanese Philately usually totals between 200 to 300 pages. The printers we have used since 1964 provide high-quality reproduction of text, photographs, maps and other illustrations on 8 ½ x 11-inch pages that open flat for easy reading. The ISJP publishes far more pages than most other-specialist-society magazines, and uses far more maps and illustrations. In the American Philatelic Society's first National Philatelic Literature Competition, Japanese Philately was awarded the Grand Award as the best periodical produced by a specialist society. At international exhibitions around the world, Japanese Philately has consistently placed at or near the top in literature awards. Most recently, it won a large vermeil at JAPEX 1999.

Since ISJP members fare spread throughout the world, it is not practical to hold general meeting or to sponsor exhibitions. Still, the Society encourages the formation of autonomous regional chapters that do hold regular meetings and sponsor or take part in local. Currently, ISJP has active chapters in London (United Kingdom), Copenhagen (Denmark), and Washington, DC (USA).

To join the ISJP, please print out the PDF file of the application form, answer all of the questions, and mail it to the address shown directly below with a remittance for US $12.00 payable to ISJP.

Kenneth Kamholz, Secretary
P.O. Box 1283
Haddonfield, NJ 08033

All memberships are on a calendar-year basis. Regardless of when you join, you will receive all issues of Japanese Philately (and accompanying indexes, monographs, etc.) published for that year. Thereafter, each year's dues are payable by 31 December of the preceding year.

Take a look at our web site:

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