In a similar vain, the U.S. would official be thrust into World War II with the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Up until then, Japan was engaged in a brutal and horrific war all throughout the Pacific. The war had permeated all throughout Japanese society and it is hard to imagine anyone in Japan not affected by it in some way or another. I recently picked up this 1938 set and the war's stark reminder was boldly embellished on the kesho-mawashi of the wrestlers: a rising sun flag, bombers, fighters, cannons, and gas masks. These are just a few of the reminders the wrestlers and Japanese society were faced with. I am hoping to pick up more menko from this set.
As always, I find it amazing that these survived the war, the paper drives, and the post-war years fairly unscathed. I was lucky enough to get them inserted into the 4th Edition of the Sumo Menko and Card Checklist right before printing and now the set is permanently documented for future generations.