About Rob Fitts



Vintage Japanese Baseball Cards

Banzai Babe Ruth

Wally Yonamine

Remembering Japanese Baseball



Vintage Japanese Baseball Cards 





Japanese Baseball Card


Buy Japanese Cards at


RobsJapaneseCards Ebay Store


Prestige Collectibles



Other Resources



2008-09 Japanese Baseball Card Checklist & Price Guide 7th Edition by Gary Engel


Sayonara Home Run

by John Gall & Gary Engel

The only book of vintage Japanese cards in English


Japanese Baseball Cards

An English Guide To Baseball Cards From Japan

Japanese Baseball Card Blog

Contact Rob




Not too long after Horace Wilson and other American teachers brought baseball to Japan in the early 1870s, the Japanese produced their first baseball card.  It was a disk, about an inch and a half in diameter, depicting a hand-drawn image of a generic player.  The cardboard disk, known as a menko, was used in a popular Japanese flipping game that was similar to the 1990s American fad game of pogs.

The popularity of baseball cards grew with the game and soon Japanese children could collect their favorite players on menko, postcards, cheap paper photos called bromides, and other collectibles. 

The history of Japanese cards is best divided into six stages: Pre-World War II, the Occupation, the late 1950s and early 1960s, 1965-72, 1973-1990, and 1991 to the present.  The links below will bring to to a separate page for each era.

Although there are dozens of sports card shops across Japan, most specialize in modern Japanese and American cards.  Collecting vintage baseball cards is not a common hobby in Japan.  Most of the collectors and dealers are located in the United States.  Vintage cards can be purchased at Japanese flea markets, antique stores, and in on-line auctions.


If you wish to purchase Japanese cards, please visit my web site Robs Japanese Cards either on its home page or on Ebay, or the other links to the left.


Pre -War Occupation 1953-64
1965-72 1973-1990 1991-present