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

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Trading Card Festa! Tokyo Card Show

I miss US card shows. Dime and quarter boxes were great places to spend hours, looking for trade bait, type collection and awards cards, and fun stuff just for ... the fun of it. The National is a show I've never attended, though I'd love to someday, but even the local San Francisco mall shows were a high point of my weekends.

The only card show I know of in the Tokyo area, the exciting-sounding "Trading Card Festa!" was held in Hammamatsu-cho, just south of Shiodome and Ginza. The short walk from the station got me to the show just before opening.

Admission was 500 yen (about $5) and there was a small crowd waiting as soon as it opened. As with everything else in Japan, time matters - the small crowd quickly scattered to all the tables and it became difficult to find space to search boxes.

I'll review the actual show at the bottom; first, here are some of the cards I picked up.
First, this promo card for the brand new Rookie of the Year OB set. The set itself was available at the show in boxed form, and the promo card came free with my paid admission. The blue background here is orange on the regular cards.
I found two truly vintage cards for my type collection. The first is this heavily-trimmed Nippon Ham card. Note the grey mark at the bottom right from the menko symbol on intact cards. I paid almost nothing for this card, but due to the missing bottom I hope to replace it soon. I guess whoever cut it (and all its brothers in the box) wanted it to fit in with Calbees of the era.
This card, however, is intact. It's from the Sadaharu Oh 756 home run set. The "book" value in my guide is $100/card, but I got a MUCH better deal. Yes, book value means nothing, especially when it comes to Engel's guide and high-value cards, but it's a reference for budgeting and value tracking.
I was very successful with the type collection in a 100-yen box. This is a gold special card from a box set.
Giants team set insert...
Tigers Anniversary team set insert...
Tigers Stadium Special promo/giveaway.
Here's another special promo card.
And one more - a bookstore special. I don't know how these cards are actually distributed.
This is another insert from a Giants team set.
Note the "Promotion" text at the bottom - this is actually a promo card with information on the back about the set.
Here is another bookstore special which looks like a bat relic. It's dual-fronted.
Another Tigers traded card, claiming a print run of 500 (it's not serial-numbered, though).
Another promo card that looks like a ball relic card. Before I leave Japan, I'd like to pick up a few of the super hits found in BBM releases such as a patch card and a ball card. Actual relics run for $100-300 each!
This is a 2002 insert from the regular BBM issue.
A parallel "kira" card.
Tigers team set insert...
2004 2nd Version set insert...
Fighters team set insert. This has a matte feel and look which is pretty cool!
BayStars insert
Buffaloes insert
Rookie Edition throwback rookie insert
Golden Eagles insert
Tigers insert...
Swallows insert...
Giants insert...
Ah, right. Promo cards from non-baseball issues. The SCM logo at the top indicates this came from SCM Magazine.
There are two types, and I got both of them.
There is another SCM promo card for the Real Venus set, which you wouldn't know without looking at the back.
This card uses foil on foil for an interesting, though not quite effective design.
Another, less interesting foil-on-foil insert.
BBM's inserts frequently have foil backgrounds. I was very happy with some of their throwback ideas last year but I haven't seen anything this year that really deviates from the BBM formula.
Another foil insert.

Finally, as part of the 500 yen admission fee, visitors could watch a discussion with a couple former players - one at 1pm and another at 3pm. As you can see, this is former Lions superstar Hiromichi Ishige talking about his career and whatever else interested the viewers.
So, how was the show? The term "Festa" is a bit of a misnomer. There were 16 total dealers, each with three tables. Seven of those were filled with various Mint card store locations, selling singles and boxes. A few of the other spots were occupied by dealers I wouldn't have much of an interest in - one called "Girls!" for example, which had no actual girls at it. There were a few other card stores (Wrappers from Akihabara was here, Prime Time from Osaka, Coletre from Ikebukuro) but there were no casual dealers.

Most of the cards I bought above were from the Prime Time 100-yen box, as the rest of the dealers didn't have much of a selection of random cards I'd want to flip through. Box buyers could find slight to great discounts, and those into the latest stuff (including US card products) could pick up boxes here.

For $5, I think the money I saved on my card purchases (versus buying cards at a store) made it worth visiting, but I was hoping for more dealers. It would be great to see non-store collectors and dealers get together for an actual show (with, perhaps, stores from outside the Tokyo area) to bring a wider variety of cards to a show. I think the Osaka show was much better because there was more variety. I found lots of cards from prior years and other sports there, while this show was mostly about new products. And since the shows are dominated by existing stores, the prices weren't as good as are found at US card shows.

There were two other things I came home with, and I'll be showing you those in the upcoming week or so. So until then...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Back to Mint Nagoya CAPS Card Shop

I took an overnight trip to Nagoya recently to catch a Dragons game and do a bit of sightseeing. While I was there, I attended a card show (with poor results) and stopped by the Mint card shop near Nagoya Station.
 The store's the same as it was in November, which is no surprise. Here's a review of my first (September) and second (November) visits. I spent a little more time looking around the edges instead of through the boxes in the middle, and came out with a bunch of oddballs. But the card above is a 1970s Calbee that got me one card closer to 100%! I passed on a $30 Oh card for the type collection and I was a bit upset about that for a while but it ended up being the right move. More on that in a future post.
 This card is actually just a glossy piece of paper the size of a photo, packaged with a color photo from the game shown. Together it makes a card, I suppose - both are basically blank-backed.  I'm not sure about how it was issued or distributed.
 Most of the oddballs I found weren't true oddballs, but in fact cards from BBM box sets and promo/special releases. I searched through stacks of cards issued in SCM magazine and given away at stadiums and events and found a good number of cards that aren't catalogued.
There was one new release I hadn't seen when I reached the shop. This is the base card from the Hawks 75th Anniversary set. I didn't get any inserts while I was there as they were a bit expensive.

While the Takadanobaba sports card shop remains my favorite, if I lived in Nagoya this would be my go-to for cars. I just feel like I could go into any corner of the store and find something I've never seen before!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

TCIC Feature Post: Shiritori with Morning Musume

Did you play educational games as a child? Perhaps it was a Teddy Ruxpin, to teach you to read (I had the whole set of characters and books). Maybe it was Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, or monopoly, or scrabble, or perhaps you played Mad Libs or filled in some educational coloring/activity books.

Japan has plenty of non-educational games for kids and adults (see: Nintendo, for instance) but its history is full of activities designed to teach basics of reading and math. Menko cards aren't just an older, more colorful form of baseball cards in this country - they come with numbers, symbols, and characters to play games - the numbers and symbols can be used for math-based contests.

A common children's game here is shiritori. The basic rules are this: think of a word that starts with the same kana character that finished the previous word. An American version would go like this:
baseball --> laptop --> page --> jerk --> cane --> name --> matchstick --> cream.

In Japanese, the words might be:
yakitori --> rinkai --> itsu --> Tsukuba ---> baka --> kaishain.

Kaishain (employee) ends with an "n" sound, which has its own character () that never begins a word. As such, the person who said kaishain would be the loser. Usually the game doesn't use places (Tsukuba is a city) and only uses nouns, but it depends on the rules. The Japanese version can be much more difficult because of the requirement of a full kana, which means a full 

Anyway, adding in some cards, I guess the person has to match the symbol or the color (similar to Uno?), which is why you'll see a lot of the same symbols in the circles below. That is, if you look at the kana.

I picked up this card game (in deck form) at a flea market for 50 yen. I'll change the kana to romanji for you so I can practice my kana reading. Enjoy the cards. The kana characters are kind of stylized and I had some difficulty identifying some of the similar characters - when I figured it out later I might have missed correcting it, and my translations are probably not perfect either. From this point on there's nothing but card images and Japanese practice.
 abenatsumi - her name is Natsumi Abe.
 ogawamokoto - her name is Mokoto Ogawa.
 nacchi - I guess her name is Nacchi? The little backwards "c" character has a special meaning here.
 yoshizawahitomi - Hitomi Yoshizawa
mooningumusume. "Morning" Musume. The name of the pop group - mooningu is the Japanese way of saying morning.
 mushi kirai - this translates roughly into very angry, I think
 poshiteibu - positive
 nokkuauto - Knock Out (part of the album title)
 ke * pi ~ su! (no idea what it means)
 geriinraibu (Green Live)
 waguchimara (Mara Waguchi)
 tsujinozomi (Nozomi Tsuji)
 wasudakei (Kei Wasuda)
 kagoai (Ai Kago)
 kamera (camera)
 chiba (Chiba, a prefecture next to Tokyo with Narita airport and Tokyo Disney)
 suika (watermelon)
 harunatsuakifuyudaisukki! (Spring Summer Fall Winter Love!)
 chokottorabu (A Little Bit of Love?)
pasuta (pasta)
 riidaaiida (Ida Rida? It must be a nickname - my research of the group shows a popular member named Kaori Iida but then Kaori has a card below)
 gotoumaki (Maki Gotou)
niigakirisa (Risa Niigaki)
konnoasami (Asami Konno)
 gonayyo (I Made You?)
 gyuunyauiya (huh?? Something about beef)
 gyuutantabetai (I want to eat beef tongue)
 ninjiniya (no carrot? what?)
 risu (squirrel)
 minnaegao (Everybody Smile!)
 tagahashiai (Ai Tagahashi)
 tamago (egg)
 buutsu (boots)
 dakkusufundo (Dachshund)
 minimoni (body?)
 tanpopo (dandelion)
 misutaa muunraito (Mister Moonlight)
 furusato (home)
 ishikawarika (Rika Ishikawa)
 iidakaori (Kaori Iida)
 toufuiyada (I/she hate/s tofu)
 tokuineta (customer story?)
 toumorokoshitosoratokaze (I think this translates as windy sky or windy field)
 doushitano (I think this translates as "something's the matter/something's wrong")
 ichigo (strawberry)
 iguana (um, iguana!)
 dounikashitedoyoubi (Saturday Somehow)
 imo (potato)
 rabuashiin (Love Scene)
 minimoni. danshin!
 The backs of the cards look like this.
And there's a blank card for making your own, I suppose.