Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Menko Madness: 1975 Marusho Playing Card Back

Today's menko cards are the first that I'm pretty sure were issued along with baseball cards. Identified as JCM 59, the baseball cards have player photos and text on the front identifying the player, team, position, and his jersey number. Sadaharu Oh is the key card here, though there are other major stars including Shigeo Nagashima. JCM 59's listing in Engel's guide identifies four non-sport cards, but I have at least six different images.

Engel identifies this set as "R3" which means that about 10-99 copies of each baseball menko is known to exist, making it one of the rarest 1970s menko sets.
 I did get one duplicate. The fronts have the usual white borders and artwork featuring superheroes.
The backs have a playing card which takes up most of the design; at the bottom is a janken symbol, a menko number, and the manufacturer's symbol. While the two motorcycle cards have identical backs here, Engel's guide indicates that the backs don't necessarily match the fronts.


  1. I spy a Battle of the Planets card. Nice.

    1. I really wish I knew more about anime! It looks like they all might come from that show... or the Japanese version, at least.