North Borneo
1944 Japanese Overprint Set

Updated - November, 2018

Identifying the New Borneo 1944 Japanese Overprint Set issues is a matter of differentiating between one of the two overprints that were applied to the stamps from the 1939 set.

Luckily for those of us who cannot read Japanese characters, the text is sufficiently different that you can easily determine which set you are viewing. The initial set of overprints applied in 1942 was a single line of text that translates to "Imperial Japanese Government". This overprint is shown below from one of the Sarawak stamps that were also overprinted. Except for the War Tax issues, the overprints were violet. In 1944, the overprint was changed to the one shown above which translates to "Imperial Japanese Postal Service North Borneo". Later issues were overprinted on Japanese stamps, so there should be no confusion there.


The catalog numbers are from the 2013 Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue (SG) and the 2011 Scott catalog (ST). You can access the publishers using the "Links to British Colonial Stamp Sites" at the bottom of this page. The descriptions of the colors are from the 2008 Commonwealth King George VI Postage Stamp Catalogue (CW) published by Murray Payne. The Commonwealth Catalogue does not list the Japanese overprints, so there are no CW numbers for these stamps.

The images were saved in a larger size and at a higher resolution so you can more easily see the details used in sorting them. Please be patient if it takes a few minutes for this page to load. Although the two high values were issued first, the stamps are shown in value order below.

SG J20 - ST N16
1c Green &
SG J21 - ST N17
2c Purple &
SG J22 - ST N18
3c Blue-Slate &
SG J23 - ST N19
4c Olive &
SG J24 - ST N20
6c Deep Blue &
SG J25 - ST N21
8c Red
SG J26 - ST N22
10c Violet &
Deep Olive
SG J27 - ST N23
12c Green &
SG J28- ST N24
15c Green &
Light Brown
SG J29 - ST N25
20c Deep Purple &
SG J30 - ST N26
25c Green &
SG J31 - ST N27
50c Chocolate &
  SG J32 - ST N28
$1 Brown &

This article was written to help you identify your stamps.
Please feel free to ask a question, or include a correction.

Comments or Questions feel free to write
North Borneo Stamps for sale based on the identification from this article.
Index to KGVI Stamp Description Web Sites
Links to British Colonial Stamp Sites