Thursday, December 24, 2015

First Post and Welcome

     Hello and thanks for stopping by my blog.  I used to write for Sumo Fan Magazine several years ago.....although my passion for collecting sumo wrestling menko and cards really outdid my skills as a writer; but it was a nice outlet that allowed me collect with a purpose.  After lurking on a bunch of websites and blogs (Many thanks to the Japanese card fans on the Collectors Universe forums, NPB Guy on the Japanese Baseball Cards blog, Sean at the Baseball Cards in Japan blog, Ryan at the This Card is Cool blog, & Tanner at TanManBaseballFan blog), I've decided to jump on the blog train and throw my knowledge out there on Japanese Sumo Wrestling Cards and Menko.  Everyone has a story when it comes to card collecting;  mine is no different.
     I started collecting football cards at the end of 1986 and grew into collecting baseball cards in 1987.  It was easy to get hooked on the beautiful 1986 Topps Football set and the amazing designs of all the 1987 baseball sets.  My brother worked at the local card shop and I eventually took over for him when he went off to college in 1991.  Compiled with me leaving for college and with the baseball strike in 1994, I stopped collecting for while.  In 1999, I was fortunate to enough to get selected for the JET Program in Japan and went and lived there for two life-changing years.  While there, I discovered sumo menko, but never really collected seriously (one of my few life regrets).  I picked up a few menko and cards here and there for the next few years, but it wasn't until 2004, while browsing eBay, that I discovered a 1954 Sumo/Baseball karuta set.  I got into a bidding war and won it for a pretty hefty price, but after that I was hooked on the collecting bug again.  Since then, I've added several thousand sumo menko and cards to my collection, wrote a sumo menko/card book (already on the 3rd edition), and continue to discover new things about the hobby every week.
     There are few sumo menko and card collectors in the English-speaking world.  Over the past 15 years, I've seen several come and go.  A few of the pioneers in the hobby, Chuck Finberg here in the US and Kentaro Ohtani in Japan, are still around, but sadly don't actively collect anymore.  Hopefully my writings will inspire a few more.  Comments are always welcome!
     Over the next few weeks I'll continue to work with the formatting of the blog and get more content uploaded and edited.  Right now it's still a minor work in progress.