POSTER STAMPS AND LABELS OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES

      INTRODUCTION

      STATISTICS

      UNSOLVED MYSTERIES

        SUMMER GAMES
1894 - Modern Games Founded
1896 - I Olympiad - Athens
1900 - II Olympiad - Paris
      - Vignettes of the 1900 Paris Expo
1904 - III Olympiad - St. Louis
1906 - Intercalated Games - Athens
1908 - IV Olympiad - London
1912 - V Olympiad - Stockholm
1913 - Berlin prepares for 1916 games
1914 - 20th Anniversary of Rebirth of Games
1916 - VI Olympiad - Berlin
1920 - VII Olympiad - Antwerp
1924 - VIII Olympiad - Paris
      - Post Cards
1928 - IX Olympiad - Amsterdam
1932 - X Olympiad - Los Angeles
1936 - XI Olympiad - Berlin
1940 - XII Olympiad - Tokyo
      - XII Olympiad - Helsinki
      - New Zealand Centennial Games
1944 - XIII Olympiad - London
      - German POW Games
1948 - XIV Olympiad - London
1952 - XV Olympiad - Helsinki
1956 - XVI Olympiad - Melbourne
      - XVI Olympiad - Stockholm

1940 - XII Olympiad - Tokyo
(Cancelled)

Official poster for the 1940 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo

CLICK HERE for the text from the DuBois catalog about the cancelled Games of 1940 and 1944.

The 1940 Olympic Games were originally scheduled to be held in Japan, but Japan's war with China, and opposition from both within and without the country led Japan to withdraw in mid-1938. Finland was then awarded the Games.

Japan had already made significant preparations, including the selection of designs for posters and seals. The first 9 labels below were official designs that were actually produced. All are scarce.

Click on image below to open an enlarged version in a separate window/tab
Click on the DuBois number beneath the image to display technical data about that label.


DuBois listing:

Label Nos. 1 to 6, which follow, all have Olympic rings and the text "XII OLYMPIAD TOKYO 1940"



1940-J-1

DuBois listing:

A rectangular label: "XII OLYMPIAD TOKYO 1940"; Text is black; above it, in usual multicolors, are the Olympic rings; 48x27mm, 57x33mm (overall), imperforate

Not much of a description - What color is the paper? Is there a border? Might be a matchbox label?


1940-J- 2

DuBois listing:

2. Flag of Japan, red & white, in center, in front of Olympic rings; text below. Three border-lines around edge of this oval-shaped label. 29x45mm, imperf, die cut, blue ... $53.00


1940-J-3

DuBois listing:

3. Blue outline of a mountain, above rings in their usual multicolors. Text, below, and border line are black on this round label. 39mm diameter, imperf, die cut ... $40.00

      SOLVED MYSTERIES!

      STILL MISSING

      ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

      UPDATE HISTORY

       SUMMER GAMES
1960 - XVII Olympiad - Rome
1964 - XVIII Olympiad - Tokyo
1968 - XIX Olympiad - Mexico City

       WINTER GAMES
1924 - I Winter Games - Chamonix
1928 - II Winter Games - St Moritz
1932 - III Winter Games - Lake Placid
1936 - IV Winter Games - Garmisch-Partenkirchen
1940 - V Winter Games - Sapporo
      - V Winter Games - St Moritz
      - V Winter Games - Garmisch-Partenkirchen
1944 - V Winter Games - Cortina d'Ampezzo
1948 - V Winter Games - St Moritz
1952 - VI Winter Games - Oslo
1956 - VII Winter Games - Cortina d'Ampezzo
1960 - VIII Winter Games - Squaw Valley
1964 - IX Winter Games - Innsbruck
1968 - X Winter Games - Grenoble

       OTHER TOPICS
      - U.S. OLYMPIC SHIELD DECALS
      - Workers' Olympics



1940-J- 4

DuBois listing:

4. A stylized cherry blossom, in pink & yellow, with rings in their usual multicolors, superimposed above blossom. 33.5x48mm, imperf, black text, gray background ... $39.00


1940-J- 5

DuBois listing:

5. Blooming cherry tree, on left; a pagoda, on right; text & rings above. 40x61 mm, imperf, multicolored ... $44.00


1940-J-6
Label above used on cover
HERE

DuBois listing:

6. A bridge with a mountain and rings in background; text below. 40x61mm, imperf, multicolored ... $40.00


1940-J- 7

DuBois listing:

7. An Esperanto Matchbox Label: In the left half: A green star in shadowy terrain, further below are Olympic rings and "2600" with Japanese writing. In the right half: "Lernt learn Laren Eder Imparate l' Apprenez l' Aprended el (Japanese text) ESPERANTO" 100x55mm, imperf, multicolored ... Rare

(text: "Learn" in 8 languages - "Esperanto")

(Note red "2600" in lower left = 1940 in Japanese Imperial Year system.)



1940-J- 8

DuBois listing:

8. "2600" among Japanese text, across top; Olympic rings, across middle; Japanese landscape, below. 27x17mm, perfed, multicolored ... Rare
(Printed in 1939, Japanese Government Savings Bureau)

{What was the significance of "2600" on labels 7 & 8?}

7/4/16 - Philippe Pavard informed us that "2600" is the year 1940 in the Japanese Imperial Year system. Add 660 to the Gregorian year to get the JIY.

HERE is this label used on the cover of a savings account book from the Olympic Committee Saving Association! (Image courtesy of Heiko Volk Auctions)

 

 
1940-J-9

DuBois listing:

9. A round label with an Olympic bell in the center. Japanese print around upper & lower edges, between two circular border lines. (Privately printed for the Osaka Savings Bank - now Kyowa Bank) ... Rare

Credit: Thanks to A. Sekimoto for info on Nos. 8 & 9 (Linn's Stamp News of January 14, 1980)

7/9/18 - The bell on this one makes me think it was created for the 1936 Berlin Games, since the bell was the symbol of that event, and has not been used since. I can find it on no labels except those for Berlin. The DuBois image is too crude to see the details of this label, and I cannot decipher the Japanese text, else we might be able to say for sure.

POSSIBLE LABELS

(not in DuBois)

      
1940-J-x1 and x2

These are additional approved designs shown in the 1938 Japanese "Report of the Organizing Committee."
No printed examples have been seen, but they *could* exist.

NOT IN DUBOIS

These are legitimate labels that DuBois did not know about.

 
1940-J-x3
120mm x 28mm
(thanks to Steve Payne for dimensions)

I think the text at left is Japanese for "Olympic".
I found several eBay listings of these labels, with definitive statements that they are "candy wrappers", and connected with the canceled 1940 Tokyo Games (though they would have been issued several years earlier, since Japan cancelled its commitment in July, 1938.)


1940-J-x4

Official JOC Mailing label
Size (design portion) = 77x111 mm

HERE it is on a cover.


JAPANESE MATCHBOX LABELS
with Olympic rings and/or text

The matchbox labels shown here are images supplied mostly by French collector Philippe Pavard and eBay seller cathy-yip,
plus some I've found in various places around the www. Aside from the first group immediately below, they could date from as early as 1936,
the Berlin Games (and I have placed a few on that page) and as late as 1964, when Japan DID host the Games,
but I think most of them were created in connection with the cancelled Tokyo Games of 1940.

Remember, though, that Japan cancelled its commitment to host the 1940 Games in mid-1938.
Since Tokyo was awarded these Games in 1936, that leaves only a two-year period for all of these labels to be issued.
Clearly the Japanese were excited about the prospect!


Winter sports - Winter Games - Sapporo
I am putting these here, rather than on the 1940 Sapporo page, to keep all the matchbox labels together.
The first has the year "2600" in the traditional Japanese calendar, which translates to 1940, and mentions Hokkaido;
the next three show winter sports; and the last mentions Sapporo, with a silhouette map of Hokkaido in the background.
   
#mbl-j01, 2, 3

12/22/18 - j02 sold for $60
11/3/19 - j03 sold for $22

 
#mbl-j101, 167

10/13/18 - j167 sold for $13




Summer sports - these look like they could be part of a set, though the figure in the last one is of a different style.

#mbl-j04

#mbl-j05

#mbl-j06

#mbl-j07

#mbl-j08

#mbl-j09


More summer sports.

#mbl-j10


#mbl-j11

10/27/18 - Sold for $20


#mbl-j150
7/15/18


#mbl-j12


#mbl-j13


#mbl-j14


#mbl-j15


#mbl-j16


#mbl-j17


#mbl-j18


#mbl-j109
(added 6/11/2017)


#mbl-j113
(added 8/12/2017)


#mbl-j113a
4/12/18


#mbl-j122
(added 10/09/2017)
12/22/18 - sold for $50


#mbl-j122a
4/12/18

I oriented j122 based on the rings, and 122a based on the text.



The ones below are all ads for tea houses, restaurants, etc.

#mbl-j19


#mbl-j20


#mbl-j21


#mbl-j22


#mbl-j23


#mbl-j24


#mbl-j25


#mbl-j26


#mbl-j27


#mbl-j28


#mbl-j29


#mbl-j30


#mbl-j30a
4/12/18


#mbl-j31


#mbl-j32


#mbl-j33


#mbl-j34


#mbl-j35
12/22/18 - sold for $9


#mbl-j36


#mbl-j37


#mbl-j38


#mbl-j38a


#mbl-j39


#mbl-j40


#mbl-j43


#mbl-j88

s92 102


#mbl-j41


#mbl-j42


#mbl-j126


#mbl-j45 thru j62


#mbl-j52a
4/12/18
Text differs from J52 in group image immediately above.


#mbl-j63 thru j87


#mbl-j89

9/15/18 - Sold for $49


#mbl-j90

12/21/16 - The eBay auction where I found this image said it was Japanese, and Olympic - I assume the seller thought it depicted the Olympic torch. But I found out today that this label is Chinese, and the text just says "TORCH MATCHES, Fu Chow Match Factory."
So it has no Olympic connection.


#mbl-j91

#mbl-j102

#mbl-j103

No Olympic rings, but the diver and the name are enough for me.


#mbl-j93


#mbl-j94 thru j100a
BEST SAFETY MATCHES at top, horse in profile leaping through Olympic rings at center, Chinese text at bottom. Red and black on white paper.

12/21/16 - I had these on my UNSOLVED MYSTERIES page, because I thought they looked Chinese, but a friend says they are definitely Japanese, from the pre-WWII period when Japanese writing used many Chinese characters (called Kanji) - so they must date from the late 1930's, the preparation for the 1940 Tokyo Games.

Than again, why a horse? That's not an Olympic symbol - could the rings be a coincidence? Stay tuned.

6/13/18 - added j100a


#mbl-j106

#mbl-j107
3/18/17 - part of a recent eBay lot - the (Chinese) seller thought it was Japanese or Korean - 4/7/18 - I am told it is Japanese. Google's translator says the two characters inside the sake jug say "White Deer" (a popular sake brand) and the four characters running vertically say "Marayasu". The five characters at the bottom are unclear - perhaps something "Mountain" - an address?

#mbl-j108
6/11/17



#mbl-j111
6/11/17


#mbl-j110
6/11/17



#mbl-j112
6/11/17


#mbl-j114
8/11/17


#mbl-j124
8/11/17


#mbl-j115
8/11/17



#mbl-j116
8/21/17

Note similarity to mbl-j49, at right


#mbl-j121
09/26/17



#mbl-j049
10/28/16

This is also in the group above, "mbl-j45 thru j62"


#mbl-j123
8/11/17



#mbl-j132
3/23/18

I have major doubts about this one - only four rings, not five. But the eBay seller says the (Japanese) text reads something like "1st Olympic commemoration." I tried Google's translation service and it says the text at the top translates "Cars" and at the bottom is an address.


#mbl-j131
3/11/18



#mbl-j133
3/31/18


#mbl-j125 a thru p
3/22/18 - updated image
new items only


#mbl-j137
4/7/18

#mbl-j138
4/9/18



#mbl-j139
4/9/18


#mbl-j140
4/12/18

#mbl-j141
4/12/18

#mbl-j143
4/12/18

#mbl-j145
6/13/18

#mbl-j146
7/9/18

#mbl-j147
7/9/18
"1940 TOKYO"

#mbl-j148
7/9/18

#mbl-j149
7/9/18

#mbl-j151
7/22/18

#mbl-j152
7/22/18

#mbl-j153
7/22/18
! "BARBER ORIMPIC" !

#mbl-j154
7/22/18

#mbl-j75a
7/22/18
This is a 2nd version of a label in center of page of labels above, #mbl-j63 thru j87 - the style of the text differs, and rings are colored differently

#mbl-j156
7/29/18

#mbl-j157
7/29/18

#mbl-j158
8/10/18

Sold for $31


#mbl-j159
8/10/18

Sold for $33


#mbl-j160
8/10/18

Sold for $46


#mbl-j161
9/9/18

#mbl-j162
9/9/18

Sold for $17


#mbl-j163
9/9/18
This one is borderline - the rings are not in the proper configuration, and the word "Olympic" is nowhere to be seen, but I like the name - "Saloon Whoopee!"

#mbl-j164
9/9/18

Note similarity to j52 and j52a - but the Olympic rings in the flag instead of the red Japanese sun symbol, and much different text.

Sold for $29


#mbl-j165
10/7/18

Sold for $13


#mbl-j166
10/7/18

Sold for $11


#mbl-j168
10/7/18

Sold for $14


#mbl-j169
10/7/18

Sold for $11


#mbl-j170
10/24/18

Note the bell that Germany used as the symbol of the 1936 Berlin Games.

THIS SOLD FOR $111.39!


#mbl-j171
10/24/18

Sold for $26


#mbl-j172
10/24/18

Sold for $21


#mbl-j173
10/28/18

Sold for $36
1/11/19 - sold for $5.50


#mbl-j44

---------------------


#mbl-j73

---------------------

These three have the same layout and coloring, but the text is clearly different.


#mbl-j104

---------------------


#mbl-j105

This one and the next are almost identical, but look closely, the style of the text differs slightly, and the rings are thinner on the second one.


#mbl-j176

Sold for $6.50 - 12/1/18
11/27/18


#mbl-j174
11/08/18

Sold for $48


#mbl-j178
12/17/18

Sold for $15.60


#mbl-j175
11/08/18

Sold for $32


#mbl-j80
12/05/18
I did not notice at first that this is label 80, in the fourth row of the page of labels above, #mbl-j63 thru j87.

Sold for $15.60


#mbl-j177
11/27/18

Sold for $29 - 12/1/18


#mbl-j179
12/17/18

12/22/18 - Sold for $15.60


#mbl-j180
01/09/19

THIS IS AN ODD ONE - LOOK AT THE BACKGROUND - it has a grid - the label was printed on graph paper! An economy move? But The Great Depression had little effect in Japan, and none of the other labels here shows such frugality.
A mystery.

Sold for $8.60


MATCHBOX LABELS WITH "OLYMPIC" BUT NO RINGS

All but the last one of these are Japanese. The ones with a ship could date from the late 1930's, I am told.
The last is Korean - the runner is a nice touch.
I consider them all peripheral items - i.e., I doubt they were issued for specific Games.


#mbl-j117
09/14/17

#mbl-j155
07/25/18

#mbl-j1188
09/14/17

#mbl-j119
09/14/17

#mbl-j128
12/22/17

#mbl-j120
09/14/17
The text in quotation marks is the same as on the label to the left, and is the phonetic Japanese for "Olympic."

#mbl-j135
4/7/18

#mbl-j136
4/7/18

#mbl-j127
12/22/17

#mbl-j129
02/07/18

#mbl-j130
02/17/18

#mbl-j142
4/12/18

#mbl-j144
5/30/18

#mbl-k1
09/14/17

If you can date any of these labels more accurately, please email me - see bottom of page for address.


PERIPHERAL ITEMS

(not quite within the limits of this collection, but certainly appealing)

The two items below were listed in a recent Heiko Volk Auction - the first he describes as

"Color. ill. Advertising sticker (79 mm) made of cardboard without gum. Stylis. Oly.-rings / flag / map - From a sock company"

and the second (both sides shown), as "Color. ill. Advertising vignette (84 mm) of a Japanese Menswear Company"

 . . . .  
1940-J-p1 and p2


FAKE LABELS

I found these on the www recently, and wanted to make sure no one thinks they are authentic labels from 1940 -
they are modern fantasies - total fakes.


#1940 Tokyo - FAKES


TOP

I am indebted to Robert J DuBois for allowing me to use images and information from his Catalog of Olympic Labels on these web pages.

All text and images are the property of the author. Any errors are his.
REWARD! If you have better or additional information about anything shown or discussed here, please email the author.
Email address at bottom of page. Full credit gladly given - your name, ebay ID, web site...

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All text Copyright © 2013, William M. Senkus

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Created -- 07/27/2013
Revised -- 01/12/2018