Friday, December 27, 2019

For the love of Japanese Baseball & Sumo Wrestling Cards - Z591 & JBR60

Japanese baseball and sumo wrestling have shared some common history.  Athletes from both sports often intermingle with each other.  Sumo wrestlers get to throw out the first pitch at games and baseball players will sometime swing by the sumo stables to eat with the top wrestlers.  In 1959, sumo and baseball were at equal pinnacles with strong Yokozuna and the emergence of baseball stars like Nagashima and Oh.  This transcended to cards as well as shown here.  Issued in the January 1959 Omoshiro Book (おもしブック), these two sheets of cards contained 16 sumo wrestlers and 16 baseball players.  When cut, each card measures approximately 1 5/8" x 2 1/2".  Catalogued as the Z591: 1959 Omoshiro Book Zashi 0 for sumo and the JBR60: 1958/1959 Omoshiro Book set for baseball, these cards are somewhat hard to find....I've only seen three sets in close to 20 years.  Here is the checklist for both sets:

Sumo Wrestling
  • Yokozuna Chiyonoyama
  • Yokozuna Tochinishiki
  • Yokozuna Wakanohana
  • Ozeki Matsunobori
  • Ozeki Asashio
  • Ozeki Kotogahama
  • Sekiwake Wakahaguro
  • Sekiwake Shinobuyama
  • Komusubi Tokitsuyama
  • Komusubi Tamanoumi
  • Maegashira Dewaminato
  • Maegashira Annenyama
  • Maegashira Naruyama
  • Maegashira Wakachichibu
  • Cartoon Rikishi - Yokozuna Gokurou

  • Yoshio Anabuki
  • Shigeru Fujio
  • Tatsuro Hirooka
  • Kazuhisa Inao
  • Kazuo Kageyama
  • Shigeo Nagashima
  • Futoshi Nakanishi
  • Teruo Namiki
  • Katsuya Nomura
  • Hiroshi Oshita
  • Tadashi Sugiura
  • Kenjiro Tamiya
  • Tasumitsu Toyoda
  • Shozo Watanabe
  • Wally Yonamine
  • Yoshio Yoshida

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome weekend!


  1. Beautiful set---love the striking color backgrounds!

    1. They definitely pop with the vivid backgrounds. I wonder why they didn’t issue all the baseball cards on one sheet and sumo on the other. Wonder why they split it.

  2. Pretty cool to see baseball and sumo on the same uncut sheet. I wonder what's up with the one cartoon sumo on the top left there.

    1. Yeah, that is really odd seeing as how they could have put one more sumo wrestler on the sheet instead.

  3. Oh man. You have some of the coolest stuff. I love the colorful backgrounds and that fact that there's another Wally Yonamine card for me to hopefully one day chase down.

    1. This set is one of my favorites from the Z-series or magazine issues because of the colors. I’ll keep a lookout for an extra Yonamine.

  4. What a coincidence - I just picked up one of the Yoshida cards from this set on Ebay!

    1. Awesome! I have a few baseball singles as well if you are interested. Not sure who though and not sure they were cut very well by the original owner.