Saturday, November 30, 2019

Mystery Solved - 1980s Sumo Wrestling Game

Last week I published a quick post on an unknown sumo wrestling game (相撲ゲーム) that I picked up with unknown contents inside the envelopes.  These would have hung up inside toy/candy shops to entice kids to spend their hard-earned yen on the contents inside.  I posed the question on what is inside of the big reveal. 

It turns out this game is played somewhat like a board game.  Inside each envelope are 30 playing pieces that come on a 2x15-piece perforated sheet.

The back of the envelope was used to keep score over 15 rounds.  It took me a while to realize, but the back of the 2x15-piece sheet is covered in a thick, purple tissue paper that is meant to be torn off.  How you would play would be to tear off two end pieces of the sheet and then randomly chose who gets each piece.  You would then remove the purple tissue paper off the back to reveal your winning (or losing) technique.  If your piece was a winning piece it had a white circle on it...if it was a losing piece, you would get a black circle on your piece.  You had to pull off two at time from the end because so there would always be 1 winner and 1 loser.  Some pieces had a tie and a losing piece which would result in a tie and you would indicate that on the score sheet with two circles, one inside the other.  There were 15 rounds and the winner was the player with the most wins (white circles).

Well, there you go.  I guess the envelope would be the collectible "card" in this instance as it had three of the most popular rikishi of this time.

Thanks for tuning in this week and have a great finish to your weekend!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Mystery 1980s Sumo Wrestling Game - What is this?

I picked up this display sheet from the early 1980s of an unknown sumo wrestling game.  It has Kintanoumi, Asashio, and I think Wakanohana (thanks Karl) on each of the envelopes.  Each of the wrestlers has 8 envelopes that measure approximately 7" x 2 3/4" with unknown contents inside.  According to the display sheet, each of the envelopes cost 10 yen.  Inside the envelope feels like a card, but I can't be sure.  On the back of the envelope is the tournament score sheet indicating you are supposed to record the wrestler's results over 15 days.  After that, I'm not sure what you do as part of the game.

What do you think/hope/wish is inside?  Without doing any research, reply with your guess below.  I'll open up one or two of the envelopes this week to find out and update this post.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Raw & Uncut: 1946 Two Stripe 3-4 (M462) Sumo Wrestling Menko Sheet

I'm continuing to clear out my backlog of uncut cards that I picked up these past few months and finally was able to catalog this new set.  From 1946, this new set is distinguishable by the two striped poles/lines on the left and right side of the card on the back.  Beautiful hand-drawn pictures of the wrestlers dominate the front against a bright, vivid background.  Likely, these menko that I picked up were from unissued inventory or sat tucked away in the backroom of a dagashiya for all these years.  Regardless, they make a new and interesting addition to the M-series of menko and will be catalogued in the 5th edition of my book.

Some huge names dominate this set from 1946 which featured only 1 tournament that year due to the post-war depression and rebuilding that was occurring in Japan.  The great Yokozuna Futabayama had just retired so the current/future Yokozuna, Terukunia, Haguroyama, and Azumafuji, were on their way to dominating the sport over the next 7 years and are aptly captured in this set.

I have only seen this set pop up recently and there continues to be uncut sheets for sale as the seller is trying to clear out his/her inventory. 

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend!