Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Lone Sole Mate / New M-Series Set: M526 - 1952 Trump 5

I have a binder of "To-be-checklisted" sumo menko sets.  These are sets I have just acquired and that I have not yet entered nor checklisted in my book.  Normally the amount of sets in my binder number between 5-10... I'm always cataloging and clearing new sets as new ones come in.  I define a set as having two or more menko, however, I also have a section in my binder called the Lone Soles.  These are menko I only have one of and can't catalogue them since I usually need at least two menko to narrow down a year.  Some of these Lone Soles have been in there for some instances almost 10.  This week I was able to move one of my menko out of the Lone Sole section and into the queue for cataloguing due to finding another one from the set.  Nothing brings me more joy, other than discovering new sets, than finding a match (or Sole Mate if you will) to my Lone Sole pile.  Sumo menko collecting will never be as mainstream as baseball or football, but in this small niche collecting community, these are the discoveries that get us excited.

This Lone Sole Mate is a a new M-Series set from 1952 and I've catalogued it as the M526 - 1952 Trump 5.  I had the #53819 Yokozuna Chiyonoyama menko for what seemed like an eternity, but I picked up the #62357 Yokozuna Terukuni menko recently at auction.  I've deduced it's from 1952 as Terukuni retired early on in 1953 and Chiyonoyama didn't promote to Yokozuna until later in 1951.  This set has the possibility of being from 1951 or 1950, but I'll update it if I happen to find any more of these rare bad boys.  I love the artwork on this set and the colors are nice and vivid.....also having a red-inked back is quite rare too as most sets usually have blue, brown, black, purple, or green.  Red is really uncommon.

I am hoping that more of these exist out there, but given that I have only found 2 in my 16 years or so of collecting, I am unlikely to find many more.  If a Wakanohana menko of this set exists, that would be the big menko of this set as it would be considered his Debut Menko.....much like a rookie card is defined.


  1. I enjoy doing research on cards... but I've got to admit this takes "cardboard detective work" to the next level. Keep up the great work... and congratulations on finding a sole mate for Chiyonoyama.

  2. That is really interesting, it must be fun narrowing down the year of a set based on biographical information like that, kind of like detective work!

  3. Fuji, I really enjoy the research aspect of the menko. Wish I read/spoke Japanese better to do in-depth research in Japan. This was a particularly fun set to find a Sole Mate. (A play on Soul Mate as you picked up.)

    Sean, this set was fun and every sumo menko set out there has been catalogued and documented in this fashion. No records exist unfortunately.