With baseball, I have player collections. Nolan Ryan, Jose Altuve. But after living in Japan for a while and learning a bit about other aspects of modern culture, I have also begun a "player collection" for an idol.
I'm sure I've written about Yuko Ogura in the past, and I'll probably write about her again in the future. But for now I want to focus on something I've done some preliminary research for.
Young Champion is a magazine that's been issued about twice monthly since 2002. I've never seen a magazine in person - at least that I've noticed, yet - so I can't tell you much about what's inside. But I do know that it features a few photo spreads on gravure models or idols.
It seems that YC has always included some sort of premium with the magazine (as is common in Japan), possibly randomly at first. Very early on, they started issuing "premium" cards that were included with the magazine, usually six at a time.
Being that Yuko Ogura was a long-time popular gravure model, and even today makes appearances on TV shows and has released books recently on motherhood, she appeared on the cover of Young Champion at least eleven times, over a period of at least seven years. I believe that most of those included six cards each, which means about sixty cards in total.
I won a bunch of random cards from the magazine in YJA auctions, so here is that "haul":
For the record, here are the issues I've found where Yuko Ogura appears on the cover. There may be more where she is not the cover model, or additional issues that I overlooked:
- 2003-3, 2003-19
- 2005-1, 2005-17
- 2008-6, 2008-16
- 2009-1, 2009-11
In line with last year's and this year's card resolutions, I have been looking for singles to finish off some Japanese sets. The Aikatsu card game has basically run its course, but a year ago some free calendar stickers were attached to Suntory soda products. I had most of them but still need a couple more, so I've picked up a couple lots off YJA to get closer to finishing the set. I think I need one more to be done. (By the way, I don't know exactly why I'm so interested in finishing this set, other than the novelty of finishing it.)