These two cards were recently acquired from one of the earliest collectors of Japanese baseball cards. His collection is also one of the world's largest. His treasure trove of cards includes a number of issues never before seen by the Japanese card collecting public. He acquired the majority of his collection decades ago, before it was generally known which cards were common and which were not.
Here are two cards that the gentleman purchased 30 years ago, for which no additional copies have ever been discovered. Based on the paper and glue residue on the blank backs and the size, the cards are judged to be third prize winners previously attached to an unknown display sheet. The cards depict the two most popular players of the early postwar era, Fumio Fujimura of the Osaka Tigers (left) and Tetsuharu Kawakami of the Yomiuri Giants (right). The Giants and Tigers have traditionally been Japan's most popular teams, and these two players were the team leaders.
Both cards contain impressive facsimile player autographs on the front. Unfortunately, they also contain a good amount of insect damage. Nevertheless, the cards and signatures are quite striking. Additionally, they may have been issued in 1947, which is the first year in which cards were issued for both players. However, we cannot be certain that these are indeed rookie cards, as the uniforms they are wearing in the photos were worn by their respective teams for several years.
Size: Each card is 1 1/2" x 4 3/4".
Condition: Poor due to insect damage