Monday, February 13, 2017

New Set / 1955 Maruta Renga 11 (H554)

  Discovering new menko sets is getting fewer and farther between so it is always exciting when a new set pops up and I am able to get my hands on them.  This set hails from the H-series of menko (The Brick Menko) and has a lot going for it.  First, it is very rare given the fact that these 8 menko are the only ones I have ever seen from this set in almost 2 decades of collecting.  Second, the backs make for easy identification....made by Maruta along with all the ranks of the wrestlers pinpoints this set depicting the October 1955 Tournament (1955 Aki Basho).  Future Yokozuna Wakanohana was promoted to the rank of Ozeki right after this tournament and is a key menko in this set.  Lastly, and most importantly, these menko are in immaculate condition.  If you ever played Pogs, you know the importance of the slammer.  In menko, these H-series "Bricks" are extremely thick and heavy and were great slammers for flipping over other menko.  Naturally, the ones you find today are usually beat up and bent....these, however, were likely deadstock in some store before they made their way to auction.  Just for reference, these measure about 3/16" thick and are very stiff.  Given that 6 of the 8 wrestlers in the known checklist of this H554 set made it to Yokozuna along with great artwork on the front, makes this a true masterpiece of a set.  I'm happy to add this set to my collection and it will be checklisted and included in the 4th addition of my Sumo Menko and Card Checklist book.


  1. Man these are beautiful. The tiny flowers remind of my grandmother's old hanafuda cards.

  2. That is a good analogy. The artwork is pretty amazing.