Tuesday, July 17, 2018

New Set: 1958 Manga/Sumo Wrestling Karuta (K581)

I like these multi-purpose sets that were issued in the 1950s.  This particular one has a manga story on the front along with the hiragana alphabet for playing karuta, and sumo wrestlers on the back.  A lot of times these came in kids magazines which inevitably leads to crooked edges from unskilled scissor use, paper loss, and general disarray.....all of which I love.  These cards actually were held in a Japanese child's hand 60 years ago.  History right here.  I'm not up on my 1950s Japanese manga series which might help determine which magazine these came in, but fortunately the sumo wrestlers have rank information which can help us narrow down an exact year....1958 in this case since Shinobuyama only held the Sekiwake rank for three tournaments in the latter half of 1958.  The cards measure 1.75" x 2.5"...approximately.

These are the only 6 cards from this set I have seen in all my years of collecting...and until I find out if they were actually issued in a magazine, I'll catalogue them under the karuta (K-series) column...this one being the K581 set.  Here is the current checklist:

い - Yokozuna Wakanohana
ろ - Yokozuna Tochinishiki
へ - Yokozuna Chiyonoyama
ほ - Ozeki Asashio
ぬ - Ozeki Kotogahama
り - Sekiwake Shinobuyama

Friday, July 13, 2018

For the 1st time in 12 years...no Yokozuna competing!

For the first time in over 12 years, there are no Yokozuna competing during the tournament.  The three current Yokozuna are down with injuries which will make for a very interesting tournament!  Hakuho has a knee injury, Kakuryu has a bum elbow, and Kisenosato is plagued with a lingering chest muscle injury.  Crazy...and the newspapers and critics of the current grouping of wrestlers are going to have a field day.  Not to mention the Nihon Sumo Kyokai will be especially critical of the Yokozuna telling them they need to compete or retire.  This definitely opens the door for a fan favorite, Ozeki Tochinoshin, to capture the championship and make a run at Yokozuna.

Here are the latest Yokozuna cards from the 2018 BBM "Rikishi" set...One of my favorite designs in a while.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

German Flea Market Finds #3: Card Goodness

Flea market season is in full swing over here in Germany.  Dozens are happening every weekend so picking and choosing the right ones isn't as hard....if you hit a dud, just move onto the next one.  I try to look around to see what people are buying, but it truly is a random assortment of stuff.  Fortunately, it seems I am the only one in Southern Germany that is collecting cards so that is a positive thing that keeps me going out as often as possible.  Here are some of the highlights of one of the local markets:

I picked up this full album of 1937 Cigaretten-Bilderdenst-Hamburg cards of trees and flowers called "Aus Wald und Flur" (Trees and Flowers) for 8 Euro.  Its catalog number is 21806-17.  As is German tradition, the cards are pasted in the album.   This tobacco card series seemed really popular back in the day due to the amount of them I see these days for sale.  They are also all over German eBay so I feel like I got a pretty good deal.

World Cup fever was in full swing here until Germany lost last week.  Boo, but at least the biergartens are now a lot less crowded.  A local store, Rewe, hands out these cards for every 10-Euro purchase.  They have done this now for at least 3 World Cups.  The cashier took pity on me when I asked if I could have one and he gave me a whole stack of unopened packs.  The cards above, however, came from a seller at the flea market.  He had hundreds of them and I was able to complete an entire 36-card set for 10 Euro and keep my unopened packs sealed.

The WWF (no, not the wrestling brand), World Wildlife Fund, teamed up with the local grocery store, Edeka, to issue these 4-sticker packs with a purchase of groceries.  As you can imagine, each of the stickers contains an image of an animal, or part of an animal for larger, multi-sticker images.  There are 180-stickers in the set and once you tear off the borders of the pack, it reveals 4 stickers that are perforated.  A seller at the flea-market had a whole stack of them and was happy to unload them all for 2 Euro.

More to follow next week.