Friday, July 5, 2019

Who felt the earthquake?

California had a fairly strong earthquake yesterday.  Fortunately the damage was limited and it wasn't stronger and closer to LA.  Our house swayed a little bit down here for 20-30 seconds is all.  I hoping for a speedy recovery for those that were more severely affected.

Ebay is not my go-to auction site for picking up sumo menko, but these beauties from 1941 showed up and I immediately snagged them.  There was another auction of these that popped too that I snagged as there were several more in that one that I needed.  All in all, it looks like there are at least 12-13 total menko in this set.  These menko depict the Natsu (summer) 1941 tournament and were printed right before World War II kicked off for the United States.  What is most unique about this set is that they are designed to be a quiz where the front shows a winning technique being performed by two wrestlers, but asks the reader to guess which one it is.  The drawings of the wrestlers are fairly crude, but when you turn the menko over, the correct technique is revealed as well as the name of the wrestler that is depicted on front.  I have never seen one of the sets before and knew I needed to add them to my collection.  Interestingly, the menko of Onami has the word "Robot" (ロボット) written on the back....which had only need coined a term only 20 years earlier.


 

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Back in action...just in time.

We escaped Germany just before the big heat wave swept through Europe.  Record heat has been logged all over Germany...in some areas hotter than Death Valley...and with little to no AC in a lot of places around Europe, it would have been miserable.  No complaints on our 70 degree SoCal weather right now, though.

At some point while I was in Germany, I picked up this two-card sumo menko lot from 1938.  It depicts hand-drawn images of the great Haguroyama as a Komusubi (#15184) and the rank-and-filer Tatekabuto who couldn't make it out of the Maegashira ranks (#85021).  What is interesting to note is the changes that Haguroyama saw during his 20-year career.  He went from competing in two annual 11-day tournaments in the early 1930s to four annual 15-day tournaments in the early 1950s.  He managed to stay alive during World War II, pushed sumo through the Occupation of the 1940s and 1950s, and helped bring sumo into the "modern" age in 1952 with the first televised bouts and into a new, modern stadium.  On top of it all, he collected 7 top-division wins during his career and was the powerhouse Yokozuna during this time.  The next changing of the guards happened in the early 1950s and by this time Haguroyama was pretty worn out ready for the next generation to take over.  He died in October 1969 at the age of 54...having just seen man land on the moon a few months earlier.

I hope everyone stays nice and cool as we enter the heat of the summer...unless you are living in the Southern Hemisphere...in that case, stay warm!



Tuesday, May 28, 2019

SoCal here we come!

Sumo card fans...unfortunately I have to take a ~1 month posting pause as all our household goods get moved from Germany to Southern California.  Once we get settled in the July timeframe, I'll start posting again.  Until then, enjoy the beginning part of your summer and I'll still be lurking on everyone's blogs!