This card emanates from the first postwar karuta set. JK 26 is the only postwar black & white baseball karuta set of which we are aware. Unlike most other karuta, the hiragana symbols are printed on the player cards only.
Normally, both player and reading cards contain the hiragana. As a result, this set is difficult to match up. The origin of the set is unknown. This card is one of only two examples of this Takehiko Bessho rookie card known to exist!
Takehiko Bessho was Japan's premier pitcher during the late 1940s and early 1950s. He twice won 30 or more games in a season, baffling hitters with a variety of off speed deliveries. During his career, he won two MVP awards and two Sawamura (Japanese Cy Young) awards. He won 310 games and had a lifetime ERA of only 2.18. He is seen here in his penultimate season as a member of the Nankai Hawks. He joined the Yomiuri Giants in 1949. Blank backed.
Size: 1 5/8" x 2 3/8"
Condition: Would be Ex/Mt, but there is residue from some Japanese text on the reverse, handwritten by a previous owner, that has been erased.