Sunday, 13 January 2013

Ends and Beginnings

New Year Greetings in 1937 from Manchukuo and wishing twofold happiness. This is the area of north east China known as Manchuria but in 1931 Japan invaded the region and installed a puppet government under President (later emperor) Pu Yi and called the area Manchukuo.  The stamp shows Manchukuo symbols.  The twofold happiness it refers to is  the 5th anniversary of the reign of Pu Yi which occurred at the new year.  Pu Yi is possibly better known as "the last emperor of China" being the last of the Manchu emperors, both briefly as a boy of two in 1908 until the country turned into a republic three years later and then as a puppet emperor of Manchukuo under the Japanese in 1932.  He probably epitomises the Chinese curse to live in interesting times.
 Pu Yi's western style uniform is because as a member of the Manchu dynasty he refused to wear the Manchukuo style robes the Japanese wanted him to wear, this was the compromise.  A brief summary of his life here
Staying in North East China the North East China People's Post issued this stamp in 1949 to commemorate the 4th anniversary of the Japanese surrender, which shows the North East Heroes Monument.  China had been fighting a civil war since the 1920s and a full-scale war with the Japanese from the 1930s to 1945. Although not a time you would wish to live through it is an interesting era for the philatelist because the military posts and various regions and occupations of China all produced stamps.

Arriving at 1950 this is one of the stamps celebrating the 1st Anniversary of the People's Republic.  They are the same as those produced for China but with the additional characters on the left showing it is North East China.
The same as this one issued in 1950 for the foundation of the People's Republic of China by a declaration on  on 1st October 1949 by Mao Tse-tung at a grand ceremony witnessed by 300,000 people in Tienanmen Square, Beijing.  Regional issues of stamps ended at the end of 1950 as the whole of China looked towards the future together.  The post revolution period was one of optimism and great advances but in common with all revolutions things were about to go wrong. 

An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps theme of - beginnings


Bob Scotney said...

You obviously have a lot of Chinese stamps and know about their history. You have taught me a lot today.

Lisa B said...

Interesting stamps and the postcard showing the emperor is amazing.

Postcardy said...

Interesting stamps and history. I especially like the card with Pu Yi.

viridian said...

I recall the the movie the Last Emperor about Pu Yi. Probably not historically accurate, like most Hollywood movies. troubled times for China then. Interesting stamps though. thank you for participating!

VioletSky said...

My Chinese history is very sketchy, and possibly a little confused from all the dynasties. It might be interesting for a philatelist, but also frustrating to decipher all the characters, I would think.
Fascinating post. I feel a part 2 coming on?!

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

It's wonderful how absorbing it can be when looking at the detail about the reasons stamps were issued. They should encourage philately at school and do away with geography and history.

Marcie said...

Interesting history!