Set of 12 vintage wrestling Menko cards. Released in Japan in the 1970s.
As a card game and collecting craze that originated as early as the Edo period, the pictures on Menko cards are colourful little snapshots of the popular culture of their time.
In the Edo and early Meiji period, ninja and samurai images were popular. Before World War II, the most coveted images were of the military, fighter planes and battleships. After the war, the battleships were replaced with characters from anime and manga, as seen here on these wrestling cards, as well as baseball players, and in the late 1980s to early 1990s Menko cards were often decorated with holographs and sparkles.
These particular ones are little anime artworks on paper, calling out for a nice bright picture frame and an empty wall to inhabit.
Condition: Well loved, with signs of their history as playing cards, as shown in photos. But still vibrantly colourful and full of character.