Wednesday, October 17, 2018

2018 Japanese BBM Akatsuki Five Basketball Set

I am not a huge basketball fan, but I love collecting the Japanese BBM B.League sets.  For those that are tracking, BBM has released 3 sets so far of Japan's B.League basketball: 2016-2017 1st/2nd Half, 2017 High Five, and 2017-2018 1st/2nd Half.  In keeping with their "tradition" of releasing an annual boxed set, BBM plans on releasing the 2018 Akatsuki Five Set in early November.  Akatsuki means “Dawn or Rising Sun” in English and alludes to the fact that these are young players with bright futures.  This set captures the Japanese men's and women's World Cup Asian teams that will compete in the 2019 World Cup.  While not a true B.League set, many of the World Cup players do play for B.League teams. Here are the details from what I am able to gather:

- The entire 29-card set will be included in the boxed set
- 29 cards in the base set with 1 special insert card per box
- Special Inserts consist of 25 different #ed autos and 6 different #ed memorabilia cards
- 4000 yen per set
- Limited to 2200 sets

Below images are courtesy of BBM's website.

I've staked my claim to three boxes.  How about anyone else?

Monday, October 15, 2018

Lone Sole: c1955 Sumo Wrestling Playing Card

As a set completionist, I dislike having single, uncatalogued cards/menko in my collection.  It pains me to see these lone cards without any other companion cards because it prevents me from cataloguing them in my book.  This lone sole of Yokozuna Chiyonoyama has sat in the lone sole section in my to-be-catalogued binder for many years now...probably on the order of a decade or more.  By all accounts, it is a rather ordinary menko/playing card.  The edges are smooth indicating it was likely issued in packs or in a magazine as a give away.  On the back there appears small glue spots which indicate it could have been used as a prize card for a menko set, or it was stuck in a album.  It is off-centered which is not uncommon for menko/cards of this era and could elude to it being more of a give away in children's magazine.  Chiyonoyama was ranked as Yokozuna from 1952-1958 and was the stablemaster for the great Chiyonofuji so he definitely is no slouch.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and have an amazing week!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

RIP - Former Yokozuna Wajima

Earlier this week, former Yokozuna Wajima passed away at the relatively old age of 70.  I say old because the average age of the last 8 Yokozuna to pass way (Including Wajima) is only 62.  Wajima lived a colorful life both inside and outside of sumo.  He loved to have his hair permed, he drove swanky Lincoln Continentals, and associated with the Yakuza.  He was the only college graduate in sumo to ever achieve the rank of Yokozuna on top of it all.  After retirement, his wife attempted suicide, he put up his stock in the Sumo Association as collateral for a loan which ultimately got him banned, and he joined pro wrestling to make ends meet.  He also coached a Japanese football team for a while to boot.  All in all, Wajima was a very colorful character and was the type of wrestler that was different enough to be liked by the fans, but skilled enough to win 14 championships and to be respected by his peers.  RIP Wajima!

Here is one of Wajima's 1975 Osato Mini Cards showing him in his mawashi and tsuna.  [Image courtesy of Yahoo Japan Auctions]