Wednesday, August 16, 2017

1912 Daikokuya Postcards

I don't often collect sumo wrestling post cards since they typically are so expensive, but I pick some up every now and then.  This is a recent eBay pickup and I knew I had to get them as I have not seen this style before.  They are prints from hand-drawn originals and the quality is superb.  They are printed with vivid colored ink and have gold-gilt for some of the accents.  I am assuming the original artist's name is on the bottom right corner, but I can't decipher what it is.  The back is pretty typical for postcards of this era....The company name is Daikokuya which was in Tokyo's Ryogoku district.  I really hope I can end up finding more of these, but seeing as this is the first time I have seen this style in several decades it might be a while before I pick any others up.  The two are Ozeki Nishinoumi who went on to become the 25th Yokozuna....the right card is Kunimiyama who retired as an Ozeki after being plagued with a bunch of injuries.

Does anyone else out there like to collect postcards as part of their card collection?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sometimes things are Black and White - BB-Series Sumo Wrestling Menko

One of the most neglected parts of my sumo menko and card collection is the BB-Series, or Black and White Bromides.  The 1940s BB-series bromides are a "nightmare" to try and catalog due to the sheer number of different sets produced.  A lot of detective work has to go into binning them to the correct sets....and I don't always get it correct so every edition of my book I have to fix numerous sets and checklists as I get smarter on them.  I'm not complaining, but with limited time these BB-series badboys get relegated to the bottom of my priority list.  In fact, when I first started collecting sumo cards, I wouldn't even keep most of my BB-series bromides...that was a big regret.  I've reached the point in my collecting where I can now focus on these black and white beasts.  Now that we are settled in Germany, I've been experimenting with shipping from eBay purchases as well as shipping from Japan.  My first pickup was this nice 1950s lot from Ebay.  Believe it or not, a few cards from this lot are actually quite rare.....I was even able to catalog a new type of set which happens very rarely these days.  The BB572 Marusho set now has been confirmed to have a Type 3: Brown Back.  Pretty cool. These cards are well loved which makes me cherish them more.  I love the candid shot of Yokozuna Wakanohana taking on three young boys which is quite common in the sumo world.  Kids would test their strength against a sumo wrestler, usually during special events like retirement or promotion ceremonies.

I haven't checked to see which ones of these are doubles yet....hopefully not many.  I did notice as I am writing this, there are two winner menko....marked with a purple "1" on the #81004 BB572 and a purple "3" on the 524300 BB601 menko.  Plus a kid named Norio lovingly marked the back of one menko with his name.  Fuji, do you recognize any from your book?

Thanks for reading and hopefully I'll have some more posts for you soon as the goods start flowing into Germany.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My first sumo wrestling CDV...circa 1900

Sumo wrestling collecting material has all but dried up for the 1950s and 1960s, so I have turned my purchasing focus to the older stuff as well as the modern BBM cards.  There are still great sets to be had from the 1930s and postcards are always popping from the 1920s, but you very rarely see these 1800 CDVs (carte de vista) cards come up for auction.  This CDV is from the late 1800s and has a photograph of Ozeki Hoo (pronounced Hoe Oh).  Although no photographer is associated with this particular CDV (It looks like it says Fine Photographic 7), it could have been one of the more established companies in Tokyo as these likely would have been very expensive to manufacture.  I am hoping to gather more of these up in the future to hopefully be able to catalog them.

Friday, July 28, 2017

German Cards and Pack Cards (Tutenbilder) - Pasler's Catalogs

I've continued my acquisition of German card collecting books and picked up the foremost authority on the post-war sets.  These are Gerd Pasler's Deutsche Cards und Tutenbilder (German Cards and Pack Cards).  These hardback monsters are definitely a work of art and really fun to thumb through.  The English-language part of the introduction section states that these books "have been put together with a great deal of enthusiasm and passion."  It contains "scans and photographs of practically ever known album covers" along with hundreds of scans of wrappers, boxes, and cards.

These books focus on sets from 1950-2013.  This is its really only lacks focus as it contains, sports stars, cartoons, Panini stickers, UD German cards and a variety of different sets.  It would be nice for individual volumes to contain all these different subjects separately.  But this is really only a mild detraction as the quality and time put in these books is outstanding.

The first book is the entire catalog of individual cards are listed, only the sets and pertinent information on sets (# of cards, price, year released).  The second book is thinner and takes specific sets from the first book and actually checklists those sets in their entirety.  If it was up to me, I would have made 4-5 different books and checklisted the sets in each of those books with each book focusing on a different topic....sports, movies/tv, stickers, etc....

Hitting up the flea markets tomorrow...wish me luck!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

German Flea Market Finds #2: Some Non-Sport Goodness

It has taken a little while to adjust German life, but it has been the most difficult having my new sumo card supply dwindle while we make the transition.  I have been filling some of my time, though, browsing German Flea Markets.  I hit up another one this morning and came away with a nice haul of some non-sport cards. The language barrier doesn't seem to be a problem as long as you bring money.  That is almost the universal language, but I am sure I could have snagged these for a few less Euro than what I paid.  All in all, I walked away with these 24 cards for about $11 or 10E.

Some German Beauties!
-Koberich 21146-16, Frauen-Schonheit und Anmut (Set of 20)
-Koberich 21146-17, Frauen-Schonheit und Anmut (Set of 20)
*Size :6.5" x 8.5"

--Schonheit in Film (Gruppe/Group 1, Bild/Card 13) - Carola Hohn
--Schonheit in Film (Gruppe/Group 1, Bild/Card 16) - Hansi Knoteck
--Anmut im Tanz (Gruppe/Group 2, Bild/Card 12) - Ursula Deinert
--Anmut im Tanz (Gruppe/Group 2, Bild/Card 13) - Friedl Romanowsky
--Anmut im Tanz (Gruppe/Group 2, Bild/Card 17) -Annemarie Herrmann

A walk back in time with the Egyptians (Aus der Pharaonenzeit)

*Set: Uncatalogued Aecht Franck Coffee (Set of 6?)
*Size: 2.75" x 4.25"

--1. Am Hofe eines altagyptischen Herrschers
--2. Jagd auf Wasservogel am Ufer des Nils
--3. Aegypterinnen beim Ballspiel auf einem Dachgarten im alten Theben
--4. Vornehmer Aegypter beim Sklavenhandler
--5. Pharao verfolg den Bau einer Pyramide
--6. Transport des Materials zum Pyramidenbau durch die Wuste

Famous armies of the world set (Beruhente Regimenter)

*Set: Uncatalogued (Set of 6?)
*Size: 4.5" x 2.75"

--1. Preussen (Prussia)
--2. Frankreich (France)
--3. Osterreich (Austria)
--4. England
--5. Russland (Russia)
--6. Ilalien

Some Pearls of the German Landscape (Perlen deutscher Landschaft)
*Set: Uncatalogued Aecht Franck Coffee (Set of 6?)
*Size: 4.25" x 2.75"

--Bild 7. Auf Rugen
--Bild 8. Die Sachsische Schweiz

I love me some lithographic moth cards!

*Set: Uncatalogued Kornfranck Moth (Set of 8?)
*Size: 4.0" x 2 5/8"

--Bild 2. Die Ronne
--Bild 3. Schwammfpinner
--Bild 5. Ringelfpinner

*Set: Uncatalogued Stollwerck Chocolade (Set of hundreds)
*Size: 3 5/8" x 1 7/8"

--Gruppe 270, Bild V - Der Igel (Hedgehog)
--Gruppe 276, Bild IV - Das Opossum

Saturday, July 15, 2017

German Advertising and Collectible Cards - Koberich's Catalogs

Since moving to Germany, I've had a lull in importing Japanese sumo cards so I have been keeping myself occupied with German cards.  Hopefully, everyone will find some interest in these as they are quite a fascinating piece of collecting.  Doing research, I quickly found that Angelika Koberich is the king cataloging German cards.  He also runs an antique book shop up in Rabenau Germany and has an online presence here.  I reached out to Mr. Koberich directly about ordering two of his books and he responded very quickly.  He even sent them to me with a bill enclosed so wasn't expecting payment up front.  I think that is common here in German and a nice bit of customer service.  The two books I ordered were his German Advertising and Collectable Cards from 1872-1945 (Volume 1) and 1946-2001 (Volume 2).  Having just published my Sumo Menko and Card Checklist, I am always fond of other card catalogers.  These books are simply amazing.  Each is hardcover and about 275 pages each.  Even with extremely basic German-language skills I was able to decipher on how to use them.  Although there are no pictures of cards in the sets, the catalog in both books is presented nicely (see picture) to find what set the cards belong to.  Each set has 1) Year produced, 2) Catalog Number and Sequence Number, 3) Title, 4) Number of Cards in Set, and 5) Price. There is a nice index in the back that you can find your set and then go search it in the actual catalog to find all the details.

My real interest in these is that they catalog the German tobacco cards quite nicely.  These cards were originally issued with packs of cigarettes.  Eventually, coupons were added to the packs instead of the actual cards and they the buyer could then redeem so many coupons for packets of cards (issued in groups called Gruppe to stick in albums.  It seems about 5-10 packets of cards would complete 200-300 card sets so each Gruppe packet held about 20-30 cards.  It is more common than not to find albums with all the cards glued into the albums.  Here is an example I pulled from the internet:

This particular set is the Deutsche Volkstrachten which appears to be cards of people from all over Germany.  According to Koberich, this set was made in 1933 by Eckstein, a cigarette manufacturer out of Dresden.  The catalog number is #20502-12...this was the 12th set they produced and it has 198 cards.  Pretty cool.

Once I hit up some more flea markets, I'll post my finds.  Cheers and I hope everyone enjoys there weekend!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Former Maegashira Yamamotoyama makes a slight a music video.

About 8 years ago there was a young Japanese sumo wrestling sensation named Yamamotoyama (YMY for short).  YMY was the heaviest Japanese-born wrestler in sumo history so he caused somewhat of a stir during his quick rise to the top division.  His 215 kilogram/475 pound pimply-chested frame was something to behold, but it was evident that he was likely too heavy to achieve any long-term success. Fate/karma intervened and in 2011 he was kicked out of sumo for accusations of bout fixing.  He and a handful of other wrestlers were suspected to arranging the outcomes of matches which is something the Sumo Association has been actively fighting in the recent past.  After YMY was kicked out, he bounced around various odd jobs, but a few days ago I saw him pop up in an Ed Sheeran music video.  Being in Germany, our English-language TV channel selection is limited so I tend to hover over the music video channels (music traverses many cultures for sure) and Ed's video popped up with YMY debuting at the end.  With over a billion is the video:

Yamamotoyama has two BBM sumo cards (#48 in 2009 BBM, and #40 in 2010 BBM) that capture his brief tenure in the Sumo Association.  I don't have my cards with me yet, so here is a screen capture of his 2010 BBM card from Jambalaya.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

German Flea Market Find #1: Olympic Cards

Welcome from of lots of beer, nice cars, and a great culture!  I managed to make it out and about this past weekend to one of the local German flea markets and found these German Olympic cards....I have no idea what sets they are from, but thought they were cool for 2€.  I imagine I overpaid a bit, but since they were my first cards, I was pretty excited to get them.  The color ones appear to be all German athletes, while the black and white set has a mix of different countries and sports.  They are standard trading card size and all show a decent amount of wear.  Hopefully I will find more of them and can update everyone on what they actually are.  More to follow....

Friday, June 23, 2017

Stuttgart Germany, here we the grid for a few weeks.

I'll be taking a break from blogging for a few weeks as we pack up the house and head over to Stuttgart, Germany.  Once we get settled, I'll hopefully have some cool new German cards to share along with some new sumo cards on their way over from Japan.  Cheers everyone and I'll catch you on the other side of the Atlantic!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Japanese BBM Baseball/Sumo Wrestling Crossover Cards

In Japan, sumo wrestling and baseball have been interlocked in a decades-long battle for popularity supremacy.  In the 1930s, sumo reigned king...after World War 2 it was baseball that carried the torch.  In the mid 1950s, sumo took hold until the 1960s where Oh and Nagashima took baseball to new heights.  In the 1970s, strong wresters like Kitanoumi, Takanohana, and Takamiyama popularized the sport overseas.  In the 1980s, Chiyonofuji was the man in sumo and seemed almost well as sumo ratings.  In the 1990s, Nomo-fever brought about Japanese baseball to new fans overseas and was carried by Ichiro and Matsui.  BBM started making baseball sets first in the early 1990s followed 5 years later with sumo and is indicative of baseball's popularity strength.  The early 2000s were kind to sumo, but it's popularity died off until just a few years ago.  This battle will surely be an interesting one going forward.  Occasionally, there are cards that depict these two sports intertwined as is with the 2006 and 2008 Japanese BBM Baseball Ceremonial First Pitch Cards.  These four card feature sumo wrestlers throwing out the first pitch in April games during those season and thus were included in the 2nd series of the sets.  In 2006, Hakuho and Kyokushuzan had the 2008, Kotomitsuki graced card # 768 and newly minted Yokozuna Hakuho had a second go at this honor.  These are the only 4 cards I know that BBM has crossed over between these two sports.  I am hoping there will be more in the future.