Kobe, Japan: 1907. Unbound. The lettersheet measures 14.5” x 7.5” unfolded. It features two color illustrations of the Empress Shoken, one in front of a large red cross wearing civilian clothes with a Red Cross medal and arm brassard, the other in traditional Japanese dress. The letter sheet is dated 15 May 1907, franked with a blue 10 sen Imperial Crest stamp (Scott # 103), and canceled with a circular Kobe postmark. The lettersheet is in very nice shape. Very good. Item #008866
Although the sailor reports that “My work is not hard and I have only to work one day and off two. . . . At sea I have four on and eight off. I am a messenger,” he does not name his ship. Navy records, however, show that only the USS Pennsylvania was in port at Kobe on the day the letter was written. At the time, not long after the conclusion of the Russo-Japanese War, the Japanese Red Cross Society was the largest in the world, and the Empress Shoken worked tirelessly on its behalf. Her efforts attracted members from the kaoku aristocracy as well leading members of society and the general population. At the time this lettersheet was posted, the Japanese Red Cross had well over one million members.