Monday, October 29, 2018

Sumo World Magazine Archive Updated

I'm finally able to clear out some of my to-do-list with an update to the Sumo World Magazine Archive you see on the left side of this screen.  I added a bunch more magazines back in the summer and I was able to scan and upload the tables of content to the archive. Good stuff for sure and I am getting that much closer to completing the series of magazines from 1973-2000.  If anyone has any that are still on my wantlist below, give me a holler as I will gladly pay for them.  I've added the new scans of the covers as well as back in my May post, I only took a photo of them.

1973 - March, May, November
1974 - January, March, July
1975 - May
1976 - September, November
1977 - July
1978 - September
1979 - May
1981 - January
1983 - March, July
1985 - January, November
1987 - September, November
1989 - January, March, July
1992 - May
1997 - September, November
1998 - January, March, May, November
1999 - January, May, July, September, November

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

2018 Irish "Who Am I" Soccer Card Game

A recent trip to Ireland led me to the local book shop in search of magazines with unique or odd card inserts included as gifts.  For those that have visited Europe, you'll instantly recognize what I am referring to when you visit an book store or convenience store.  Dozens of different magazines with extra prizes attached to them to try and attract kids.  Some are toys like plastic whistles, small trinkets, or stickers.  Others have cards included like the magazine Kick! Irish publication.  My Kick! copy included stickers, a key chain, a photo magnet, a sample pack of Pok√©mon cards, and the Who Am I card game with 24 cards of the world's famous soccer stars.  If you followed the World Cup this past summer you'll recognize names like Ronaldo, Messi, Kane, Rooney, Neymar, and Mbappe.  Cool stuff!  The game is played by splitting the deck in half and reading a card to your opponent.  If he or she can guess the name of the player from just the top clue, they get 10 points.  If they need two clues to guess the name they only get 5 points.  If it takes all three clues to guess the name they only get 1 point.  You take turns until all the deck is used up and the highest total wins.  I can't imagine you play this more than once, but a pretty cool oddball set nonetheless.

Here are the goodies I got as freebies.

Here are the cards.  Not bad quality for freebies.

I for one want to win some the "sick prizes"

Well, there you have it.  A little international flavor for your Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

2018 Japanese BBM Akatsuki Five Basketball Set

I am not a huge basketball fan, but I love collecting the Japanese BBM B.League sets.  For those that are tracking, BBM has released 3 sets so far of Japan's B.League basketball: 2016-2017 1st/2nd Half, 2017 High Five, and 2017-2018 1st/2nd Half.  In keeping with their "tradition" of releasing an annual boxed set, BBM plans on releasing the 2018 Akatsuki Five Set in early November.  Akatsuki means “Dawn or Rising Sun” in English and alludes to the fact that these are young players with bright futures.  This set captures the Japanese men's and women's World Cup Asian teams that will compete in the 2019 World Cup.  While not a true B.League set, many of the World Cup players do play for B.League teams. Here are the details from what I am able to gather:

- The entire 29-card set will be included in the boxed set
- 29 cards in the base set with 1 special insert card per box
- Special Inserts consist of 25 different #ed autos and 6 different #ed memorabilia cards
- 4000 yen per set
- Limited to 2200 sets

Below images are courtesy of BBM's website.

I've staked my claim to three boxes.  How about anyone else?

Monday, October 15, 2018

Lone Sole: c1955 Sumo Wrestling Playing Card

As a set completionist, I dislike having single, uncatalogued cards/menko in my collection.  It pains me to see these lone cards without any other companion cards because it prevents me from cataloguing them in my book.  This lone sole of Yokozuna Chiyonoyama has sat in the lone sole section in my to-be-catalogued binder for many years now...probably on the order of a decade or more.  By all accounts, it is a rather ordinary menko/playing card.  The edges are smooth indicating it was likely issued in packs or in a magazine as a give away.  On the back there appears small glue spots which indicate it could have been used as a prize card for a menko set, or it was stuck in a album.  It is off-centered which is not uncommon for menko/cards of this era and could elude to it being more of a give away in children's magazine.  Chiyonoyama was ranked as Yokozuna from 1952-1958 and was the stablemaster for the great Chiyonofuji so he definitely is no slouch.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and have an amazing week!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

RIP - Former Yokozuna Wajima

Earlier this week, former Yokozuna Wajima passed away at the relatively old age of 70.  I say old because the average age of the last 8 Yokozuna to pass way (Including Wajima) is only 62.  Wajima lived a colorful life both inside and outside of sumo.  He loved to have his hair permed, he drove swanky Lincoln Continentals, and associated with the Yakuza.  He was the only college graduate in sumo to ever achieve the rank of Yokozuna on top of it all.  After retirement, his wife attempted suicide, he put up his stock in the Sumo Association as collateral for a loan which ultimately got him banned, and he joined pro wrestling to make ends meet.  He also coached a Japanese football team for a while to boot.  All in all, Wajima was a very colorful character and was the type of wrestler that was different enough to be liked by the fans, but skilled enough to win 14 championships and to be respected by his peers.  RIP Wajima!

Here is one of Wajima's 1975 Osato Mini Cards showing him in his mawashi and tsuna.  [Image courtesy of Yahoo Japan Auctions]

Monday, October 8, 2018

c1918 Japanese Sumo Wrestling Bookmark Card - Ozeki Asashio

By the time you are all reading this, I will have ran in my first (and last) marathon.  Something that has been on my bucket list for many years and I was finally able to get to the long training involved in making it happen.  I've come to realize my body is too old at this point to make long-distance runs a habit, but I do enjoy the 6-10 mile run limit a lot more than these multiple-hour runs.  Speaking of old I happened upon this old circa 1918 bookmark card (B-series) of Ozeki Asashio.  Bookmark cards are actually one of the hardest series to find in all eras and this one has had it's fair share of love.  Asashio was an active wrestler for over 16 years and retired as an Ozeki in 1919 and the old age of 35, something very uncommon for wrestlers these days.  He died at the ripe, old age of 82, which was even more uncommon among wresters of that era.

This bookmark card has a nice hand drawn image of Asashio in his mawashi with stylistic flower images on both the front and back.  The back clearly indicates this is a Shiori "bookmark" with a nice, large gunbai image below that.  It measure 1 3/8" x  5 3/8".

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

1968 Japanese Sumo Wrestling and Soccer Playing Cards (G681)

Late 1960s sumo cards are virtually non existent.  In fact, it is easier to find sumo cards that were made during World War II than it is to find sets that have sumo wrestlers in them from the late 1960s.  In 1968, man was getting ready to walk on the moon, the Vietnam War was in full swing, and the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City brought together athletes from around the world.  Also in 1968 Shonen Book, aimed at elementary school kids, produced this trump/playing card set with famous Japanese athletes.  Included are 13 baseball players, at least 3 sumo wrestlers, soccer stars, pro wrestlers, and a variety of athletes from other sports.  I was able to snag three sumo wrestlers and two soccer stars from the set as shown here.  Given the rarity of this set, these might be the only ones I come across in the next decade.

The three wresters are the great Yokozuna Taiho, Taiho's arch rival Yokozuna Kashiwado, and future Yokozuna Tamanoshima who would later die as an active wrestler at the age of 27 from a blood clot.

The two soccer stars are Yuichi Sugiyama who played on the Japan National Team in the 1968 Olympics and won gold.  And the all-time leading goalscorer for Japan, Kunishige Kamamoto, and another member of the 1968 bronze gold-winning Olympic Team.

Monday, October 1, 2018

1991 NTT Japanese Telephone Card - Yokozuna Chiyonofuji

I mentioned in a previous post that NTT switched to the barcode backs on their telephone cards in 1991.  Before 1991, each back had a unique numbered back for easy cataloguing.  After 1991, they went to a generic back with a standard barcode number making cataloguing that much more difficult.  Here is one of the first barcode backs (The dreaded 955595 100160 <110-016> number)....which happens to be the great Yokozuna Chiyonofuji.  He was called the "Wolf" because of his cunning in the ring and his superb physique was popular among the fans.  Chiyonofuji is regarded by some as the greatest wrestler in history due to his contributions to the sport on and off the dohyo.  My goal is to start cataloguing Japanese sumo telephone cards with earnest in Fuji would say "Down the Rabbit Hole."