Wednesday, August 16, 2017

1912 Daikokuya Postcards

I don't often collect sumo wrestling post cards since they typically are so expensive, but I pick some up every now and then.  This is a recent eBay pickup and I knew I had to get them as I have not seen this style before.  They are prints from hand-drawn originals and the quality is superb.  They are printed with vivid colored ink and have gold-gilt for some of the accents.  I am assuming the original artist's name is on the bottom right corner, but I can't decipher what it is.  The back is pretty typical for postcards of this era....The company name is Daikokuya which was in Tokyo's Ryogoku district.  I really hope I can end up finding more of these, but seeing as this is the first time I have seen this style in several decades it might be a while before I pick any others up.  The two are Ozeki Nishinoumi who went on to become the 25th Yokozuna....the right card is Kunimiyama who retired as an Ozeki after being plagued with a bunch of injuries.

Does anyone else out there like to collect postcards as part of their card collection?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sometimes things are Black and White - BB-Series Sumo Wrestling Menko

One of the most neglected parts of my sumo menko and card collection is the BB-Series, or Black and White Bromides.  The 1940s BB-series bromides are a "nightmare" to try and catalog due to the sheer number of different sets produced.  A lot of detective work has to go into binning them to the correct sets....and I don't always get it correct so every edition of my book I have to fix numerous sets and checklists as I get smarter on them.  I'm not complaining, but with limited time these BB-series badboys get relegated to the bottom of my priority list.  In fact, when I first started collecting sumo cards, I wouldn't even keep most of my BB-series bromides...that was a big regret.  I've reached the point in my collecting where I can now focus on these black and white beasts.  Now that we are settled in Germany, I've been experimenting with shipping from eBay purchases as well as shipping from Japan.  My first pickup was this nice 1950s lot from Ebay.  Believe it or not, a few cards from this lot are actually quite rare.....I was even able to catalog a new type of set which happens very rarely these days.  The BB572 Marusho set now has been confirmed to have a Type 3: Brown Back.  Pretty cool. These cards are well loved which makes me cherish them more.  I love the candid shot of Yokozuna Wakanohana taking on three young boys which is quite common in the sumo world.  Kids would test their strength against a sumo wrestler, usually during special events like retirement or promotion ceremonies.

I haven't checked to see which ones of these are doubles yet....hopefully not many.  I did notice as I am writing this, there are two winner menko....marked with a purple "1" on the #81004 BB572 and a purple "3" on the 524300 BB601 menko.  Plus a kid named Norio lovingly marked the back of one menko with his name.  Fuji, do you recognize any from your book?

Thanks for reading and hopefully I'll have some more posts for you soon as the goods start flowing into Germany.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My first sumo wrestling CDV...circa 1900

Sumo wrestling collecting material has all but dried up for the 1950s and 1960s, so I have turned my purchasing focus to the older stuff as well as the modern BBM cards.  There are still great sets to be had from the 1930s and postcards are always popping from the 1920s, but you very rarely see these 1800 CDVs (carte de vista) cards come up for auction.  This CDV is from the late 1800s and has a photograph of Ozeki Hoo (pronounced Hoe Oh).  Although no photographer is associated with this particular CDV (It looks like it says Fine Photographic 7), it could have been one of the more established companies in Tokyo as these likely would have been very expensive to manufacture.  I am hoping to gather more of these up in the future to hopefully be able to catalog them.