Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2009 Dohyo Trump

From the mid 1970s all the way until 1997, the only cards produced of sumo wrestlers were playing cards, or trump cards as they are called in Japanese.  It wasn't until 1997 that BBM produced regular sumo cards and distributed them on a wide scale to collectors.  So for 20 years, collectors had to suffice with these annual releases which are still being printed today.  It's not surprising though as the end of the mini card, bromide, and menko boom of the 1970s had petered out by the time the great Yokozuna Chiyonofuji became popular in the early 1980s.  So for the extreme collectors we have to make due with the playing card sets to bridge this 20-year gap.

The playing card formats have stayed relatively the same since the first known set was produced in 1976.  Even the back design has stayed the same sans the late 1980s and early 1990s sets which featured a picture of the new Kokugikan on the back card face.  They eventually reverted back to the old design, though.  The early sets did not have the wrestlers name in English at the top, but soon included it and it has been standard ever since.  All sets feature 52 of the most popular wrestlers at the time the set was printed as well as a joker card of the gyoji (referee).

Right now there are confirmed sets for the following years (UPDATED 26 DEC 2017):

1976
1977
1978
1983
1984
1986
1987
1990
1992
1993
1994
1997
2004
2008
2009
2013
2017

Surprisingly, these sets are actually extremely difficult to find and only ~6 or sets pop up every year.  Older sets often command $50 while some of the new sets can easily be had for $5-$10 on the secondary market.  These set new were sold at the tournaments for about 1500円 and can still be purchased today during tournaments!

This 2009 set is one that I recently cataloged and is unique in the fact that it is the first set that I know of to feature two gyoji on the same card.  It also has 4 of the modern day Yokozuna in it (Asashoryu, Harumafuji, Hakuho and Kakuryu).


9 comments:

  1. Hi, I just found a new sealed pack of these trump cards at a local thrift shop. Would you happen to know which year Homasho was on the Ace of Spades. I don't want to open the pack. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sometime between 2008-2013. I have three sets with him as AS during those years. Great find!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello. I recently purchased a set from the early 90s, and with Hokotoumi and Asahifuji as two of the Kings, I originally thought it was the 1990 set. But given the absence of Chiyonofuji (retired May 91) and Onokuni (retired July 91) and the presence of Musashimaru as 10 Hearts and Takanonami as 2 Clubs (both made the top division in Nov 91) and Ozutsu who retired with Asahifuji in Jan 92, I now think the set was produced sometime between Nov 91 and Jan 92. As neither of these years appear on the list above, I was wondering if I had stumbled upon a new set. Regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karl. Thanks for the comment. Since I posted this blog entry, I've been able to add quite a few more confirmed sets. Here is the latest list:

      1976
      1977
      1978
      1983
      1984
      1986
      1987
      1990
      1992
      1993
      1994
      1997
      2004
      2008
      2009
      2013
      2017

      Based on what you have written, it does appear you have found the 1991 set printed at the very end of 1991! Very cool. I catalog all the sets in my book:

      https://sumocards.blogspot.de/2017/06/sumo-menko-and-card-checklist-book.html

      Could I ask you a favor? I'd love to include the checklist in the book and would recognize the checklist as coming from you. I sell my books through Lulu and only charge what Lulu charges to print/ship the book so I get $0.00 from the sale of the book....but I'm doing this for fun so it really doesn't matter. Let me know and I can shoot you my e-mail. Thanks!

      Delete
    2. That sounds great, and thank you for the reply. Do send through your email, and I'll be happy to send through the checklist.

      Delete
    3. Great! Rakuda_chan@yahoo.com

      The checklist will appear in the 5th Edition. It’ll have a line that says “checklist provided by Karl Brandy” above the checklist section.

      Thanks again.

      Delete
    4. Sorry, crazy autocorrect. Not Brandy, Brandt. “Checklist provided by Karl Brandt”

      Delete