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.


  1. Wish I could say your book has made me an expert... but I just look at the pretty pictures. There are so many different years and versions, I don't think I'll ever be able to identify them by sight. But if I need to... your book is an excellent guide.

  2. I keep finding new material so a 5th Edition may come sooner than I was originally planning.