Kinkees (Yasutaka Tanaka ) / profile

<Kinkees>

Yasutaka Tanaka

 

Born in Osaka, 1964.
As a child, he was addicted to collecting cards and bromides related to Tokusatsu and baseball.
In adolescence, he devoted himself to the Beetles.
After working for a record shop, he opened <Kinkees> in Neyagawa city, Osaka in 2000. He has sold secondhand records and so-called <paper articles>, cards and bromides, mostly of the 1970’s.
He receives great trust from enthusiasts all over Japan, and receives many inquiries from TV programs and some magazines.
The store in Neyagawa is called “a holy place” which enthusiasts, who have interest in that field, can’t help but visit at least once.

 

http://www.kinkys.jp/shop.html

Kinkees( Yasutaka Tanaka) /paper articles (Calbee etc.)(1)

Neyagawa-city, a bedroom town in Osaka.
Kinkees is on the second floor of a small building, approximately five minutes away from Neyagawa-shi Station on foot.

 

Many sleeves of old records and color copies of Tokusatsu bromides are put up on both sides of the wall of the dimly lit staircase.
The interior is oblong and unexpectedly spacious.
In a section near the entrance, there are old single records lined up tightly without space, and in the center, there is a rather tall island made of careless piling up of Kamen Rider albums.

Shelves are filled with a large quantity of files and they make visitors know at first sight how wide an assortment of articles there is.
The back wall of the room is lined up with some showcases in which a lot of cards are exhibited.
It was already a long time since paper-article enthusiasts began to call Kinkees a holy place. But an arrogant atmosphere coming from this excellent reputation was not present in this shop. One reason must be that the articles they handle are small in size, but it is probably not the only reason. Even though it is full of articles, there is not at all a suffocating mood that overwhelms me. Rather, there is a sense of relief, as if I am enveloped deeply by the articles.

 

There is a counter immediately beside the entrance. It is the nesting hole where the storekeeper, Mr. Tanaka, rarely leaves.
Many cards and bromides are also wrapping around this nest as if to embrace it.
There is a mood of nostalgic relaxation.

But the moment I approached the glass showcases by the back wall and caught a glimpse of the insides, I was dumbfounded.

 

・・・Kamen Rider cards have places of production?

Kinkees(Yasutaka Tanaka) / paper articles(Calbee etc. )(2)

Takatsuki, Fujiidera, Sakai, Higashi-Sumiyoshi….they are names of some suburbs of Osaka.

 

Most Kamen Rider cards in Kinkees are labelled with names of places.

( Amagasaki,Oogaki,Higashi-Osaka,Kobe)

 

 

It is the first time ever that I have seen such a scene.

 

The place names span across the whole country. Nagoya. Oyama (of Tochigi prefecture). Aizu and Iwaki (of Fukushima). Nagano, Toyama, and Asahikawa (of Hokkaido)…

“I always ask anyone who sends me cards for valuation to write where the card appeared.” Mr. Tanaka said.
“When collectors sell their collection, I ask them about the shop at which they bought the cards. Because I need data.”

 
I listened to this with my eyes wide open in astonishment.
What on earth is happening to Kamen rider cards?

 

“I now more or less know what kind of color comes out in which area.”
Mr. Tanaka said lightly and smiled.

 

“It’s almost like a sickness.”

Kinkees( Yasutaka Tanaka)/ paper articles (Calbee etc.)(3)

Kinkees, which present card enthusiasts see as a “holy place,” was a record shop at first, I hear.

 

Mr. Tanaka formerly worked for a record shop, and in 2000, he opened Kinkees as a secondhand record shop. Of course, disks are still one of the anchor products of the shop.Yet he wanted to get cards and bromides and so he advertised for them after a while.

 

Mr. Tanaka belongs to the generation in the midst of the first monster boom.
He was absorbed in “Ultraman” “Magma Taishi”, and continued his interest into “Kamen Rider”.
His favorite things were not only Tokusatsu. He also became crazy about professional baseball cards which Calbee released later on.
Anyway, he loved cards and bromides, so-called < paper articles >.

 

Therefore, he himself was a collector for them. At Kagome-sha in Umeda (Osaka), he had bought cards off the shelf  in a clean sweep before.
He went to Empy-ya in Tokyo, too. When he went there at about 2:00 p.m., the store was still closed, and he returned disappointed. Mr. Satte had probably still been sleeping, I guess.

 

That’s why the owner of a secondhand record shop, Kinkees, advertised that “We buy cards and bromides”.It was a natural idea for enthusiasts.
Happy and excited, he waited for some customers who would come to sell them.

 
It can be said that the effect of the advertisement was big.

 
Customers rushed into the shop.

 
All of them were customers willing to buy.

Kinkees(Yasutaka Tanaka)/paper articles(Calbee etc.)(4)

Customers rushed into Kinkees.
Contrary to Mr. Tanaka’s expectation, all customers asked him to sell them cards, not to buy from them.
They jacked prices up one after another.“I will pay so and so, so please sell me that card.”
The more he raised the buying price, the more customers asking for cards rushed in.

 

“There was no shop like that in western Japan.”
Mr. Tanaka recollected the panic at that time with a distant look in his eyes.

 

“・・You did have some cards that you didn’t want to sell, didn’t you?” I asked.
“Not just one, but I’d say many regretful pieces…, I can’t count how many regretful ones there were.”
Mr. Tanaka grumbled.
“I was forced to sell cards from my collection and I had to reluctantly give them up.”

The collection which he had been keeping lovingly was swallowed by that wave and disappeared.He was in a fix with the surging waves of visitors asking for cards, I suppose.
“In those days, I used to say to customers …”If you have any cards you don’t need anymore, please sell me them”.
Mr. Tanaka said.

Kinkees(Yasutaka Tanaka)/paper articles (Calbee etc.)(5)

Mr. Tanaka said.

 

“In my childhood, it was rich children who were able to buy soft vinyl figures. But cards or bromides were 10yen, 20yen…within the range of pocket money. Every child could buy them by giving up a can of juice on a summer day.”
The 5 yen trading bromides and the 10 yen trading ones from the cheap candy shop, mini-cards, prize cards.
From Calbee, the Kamen Rider cards, V3 cards, professional baseball cards, Henshin-Ninja Arashi cards (The Transformed Ninja Arashi card).
From Sisco, the Ultraman cards, Rainbow-man cards, Kikaider, mirror-man …
Paper-articles were found abundantly and above all, were cheap.

 

 

Even though toys were too expensive to buy, every child could buy cards. Therefore in front of cards, everyone reverts back to a little child.
In a sense, the degree of the risk is not small, too.
Just how many visitors that came for the used records were caught by the cards’ charm?
They would look at some records and incidentally turn around and begin to look at the cards, saying that they make him feel nostalgic.

 


Mr. Tanaka can tell.
He had watched that moment happen many times.
Somewhere inside the visitor, a switch was turned on.
The visitor buys one piece of card.

 

Buying it and they were done for.

 
They come back within one week, without exception.
Their eyes are already strange.
“I do say, for the time being, to stop.” Mr. Tanaka, who has watched all things happen, says with the look of a gentle Buddhist priest.
“I say to them that they had better stop before they’ve had too much.
The entrance to collecting cards is good, but once they enter the world, they will be miserable.”
Of course they cannot accept such advice, and Mr. Tanaka has been scolded many times by collectors’ wives.”Everything is your fault. Please do something. You are an enemy of women.”
No wonder.
Ma’am.
It is your husband’s fault that he came here and had an accident, but I understand your feeling well.

Kinkees(Yasutaka Tanaka)/paper articles(Calbee etc.)(6)

Just then, two customers came into the store.
One senior and another rather young, both men seemed to be considerable regular customers and looked experienced and had a distinctive presence.

Mr. Tanaka introduced me to them as a part-timer at Mandarake.

One of the regular customers said,
“Mandarake would put many cards on sale during the New Year holidays. But they stopped having those big sales about three years ago.
Why did they stop?”

“Did it? I am the rank and file and I don’t know anything.
I wonder whether the cards are in Sahra or not…”
Sahra is a huge warehouse which Mandarake built in Chiba prefecture.

“Many people were looking forward to that. Please tell Mandarake to sell lots of cards readily.”
The other visitor nodded in assent.
I glanced at Mr. Tanaka.
Surprisingly, Mr. Tanaka was nodding in assent, too.
“That’s right. Please tell Mandarake to sell cards readily.”

Oh…
I was at a loss.

Mr. Tanaka said.
“There was once a period of two or three years when Kamen Rider cards were not sold to us at all. After that, they suddenly began to come almost every day. There are so intense ups and downs, I don’t know what’s happening.”
The regular customers who had shared the ups and downs of this store were listening by his side.

The homepage of Kinkees says as follows.

“I have been particular about cards for 17 years.
For Calbee cards of the 1970s, Kamen Rider cards, Professional baseball cards, we declare No.1 purchasing again!”

Following it, the serial numbers and the purchase prices of the Kamen Rider lucky cards were listed.
Including a listing of 1, 200, 000 yen for No. 255 in S rank (in extremely good condition), the list was just as expected from a long-established store, with forcefully large prices listed.

The homepage also includes entries about the collectors’ challenges as if they are climbing lofty mountain peaks covered in deep snow.
“Error card” (deep!) Lucky cards (Impossible to complete!), the complete collection of the Sign edition cards (Zero accomplishers, I think!) Furthermore, the variations of the sign edition!!
Nine pieces in each pocket in super extremely good condition!! On top of that, one-volume of a file filled with the same number!!
・・ ・They dash towards frightful grounds which seem to be endless. I’m filled with admiration for them.”

Kinkees has always accompanied their customers who rushed headlong into the terrible, unknown stages.
Many customers of this shop are longtime acquaintances, I hear.
It is said that the first visitors have kept visiting since the beginning.

Kinkees (Yasutaka Tanaka)/paper articles(Calbee etc.)(7)

Confirming the area of origin of the Kamen Rider cards comes from a customer’s request, I hear.

“A certain visitor requested it and I began to write the area. Other visitors were affected by it, too.”

While doing it, Mr. Tanaka gradually became interested in it himself.

Then, he began to understand various facts.The habit of many printing offices, the place where cards were enclosed…For example, some identical printed matters appear in Kurashiki (Okayama prefecture) and a part of Nara. They have a black stain in the lettering. The prefectural borders are interesting, too. Nagoya (Aichi prefecture) is next to Gifu prefecture. Of course they have common cards. As for Toyama prefecture, the cards are basically in the same category as the Kanto region, but in some areas bordering the Ishikawa prefecture or Gifu prefecture, rare local edition cards come out. In regard to V3 cards, in Kagoshima, Hokkaido and the Kanto region, common cards appear.
Such a distribution map has come into existence, little by little.

Mr. Tanaka says, “I ask customers who are going to sell me cards to tell me how and where they bought them.”Mr. Tanaka asks them in detail especially if they come from a big city.
“I ask them how much their pocket money was in childhood, too.”
”…I see. There is possibility that they have bought cards by the carton.” I said.
If the person had gotten abundant pocket money, it means that a considerable amount of cards came from the same origin.

There seem to be people who gather cards from their hometown as well. For example, someone who lives in Saitama prefecture only buys cards from Saitama, and someone in Shizuoka prefecture assembles a set of serial cards from Shizuoka.
My husband was born in Shizuoka. According to Mr. Tanaka, cards from Shizuoka are divided by the Fujikawa River into the east and the west.

“People may say, “so what?”… In other stores, the cards may be just overstock.” 
 Mr. Tanaka laughed.
“But every customer enjoys this.”

Kinkees(Yasutaka Tanaka)/paper articles(Calbee etc.)(8)

In 1971, Calbee released the “Kamen Rider snack” that came with an attached card.
The Kamen Rider card excited children all over Japan and it became a social phenomenon.
However many cards they printed, they couldn’t meet the demand.Dai-Nippon-Printing Work, a printing company representing Japan, sent the job to various printing offices.Many small, local printing offices were mobilized.Even local offices that were very small and extremely incompetent printed Kamen Rider cards.

Mr. Tanaka says.”In East Japan, relatively major printing works undertook the job. Therefore difference in quality is not seen so much. But the Western Japan,it is so interesting.Even the smallest of printing offices took on the job, and some cards beyond our expectation appear. There are still some discoveries in this field. There are cards we have never seen before.”

“In regards to trading cards, I feel as if we are under the control of the products’ company. I cannot help but feel that all things are calculated down to the last detail, including even the errors.”

As compared with this, these old cards have various, unimaginable differences even in their red color or something. Mr. Tanaka says that the information that these paper-articles include is diverse from all angles.

Kinkees(Yasutaka Tanaka)/paper articles(Calbee etc.)(9)

In 1973, about 2 years after the debut of the Kamen-Rider snack, Calbee released the “Professional Baseball Snack” with a card.
The know-how and the network of companies gained from printing the Kamen Rider-cards were handed down.

“That’s why there are many visitors collecting both of them.”
Mr. Tanaka says.

As for the professional baseball cards, the local edition cards were released in western Japan, and so the importance placed on the west is clear, I hear.

Here, let’s quote Kinkees’ homepage again.

(Wanted)”We will buy Calbee Kamen Rider cards, V3 rider cards, the professional baseball cards from the 40s of the Showa period.
Points of assessment are their number, sign (for the professional baseball, the age),their condition and the regions sold in (Cards owned from childhood that originated in Kyushu, Shikoku, Chugoku/San-in, Kinki district, Tokai district and Hokkaido are best! Depending on the course taken by cards, the prices improve). We check the paper quality of the card, hues of the ink, and coating! We’d like your help with this survey!”

There are scenes which can’t be seen until they collect both Kamen Rider cards and Professional baseball cards.
Beyond the genres of Tokusatsu and baseball,this is probably a genre called “Calbee”, … Mr. Tanaka said.

Not to mention misprints, but also black stains in corners, the color taste of even a single color like red…the similarities in tints of color, quality of paper, habits of printing…, aspects such as these are indeed “dimensional” information that contains various information that printed matter like these was distributed over a network like this during this period.
Some visitors call digging such information up “archeology”.

Kinkees(Yasutaka Tanaka)/paper articles(Calbee etc.)(10)

Usually someone would want a perfect card.
They pay money for a rare card without flaws, with four straight corners.
But this is not a world to have only a single card.It starts from the point when they have a lot of the same cards.

Making a comparison of cards, they enjoy themselves finding the differences, saying “This is not the same as that, that is unlike this somewhere, what is the disparity?”

“Even if we’re asked why so many of the same cards, it’s because this color is different.”

So, for example, they are going to ask for the red version or the blue version of Monster Namazu-giller card in Kamen Rider cards.
For example, they collect the Monster Kame-bazooka cards in a gradation of color.
By examining paper and printing closely, what a fertile field that spreads out infront of them!

That’s why Mr. Tanaka is scolded by regular customers.”I requested this hue earlier, haven’t I?” or “I told you that I want this color taste, didn’t I?”
… Mr. Tanaka looks sad and grumbles.”I ‘m at a loss for reserving cards by color…”

What a wonderful world this is!
In this world, there are still colors that we have not seen yet.
“A strange card appeared.
There is an odd card like this.”
“We can’t stop gathering cards”
Here discoveries are still more, and there is the joy of exploration and reclamation.
Therefore they have large quantities of cards.
“10,000 pieces are usual”The regular customer who was with us said calmly and laughed.Surprisingly it seemed to be a natural matter.
There is someone that arranges more than 10, 000 pieces of cards neatly and takes the data. He is said to have around 30, 000 pieces.

Ten thousands of pieces…how dangerous, and sweet a world it is!
A field of maturity and insanity.
This is an evolutionary form of how to buy Kamen Rider cards.

Kinkees (Yasutaka Tanaka)/paper articles(Calbee etc.)(11)

Mr. Tanaka says with a smile.
“If I examine too much, the customers’ experience will be spoiled. So I offer them a common ground and opportunities.”

Kinkees has accompanied them all.
From orthodox serial numbers, to lucky cards, to sign editions, and to different colors, Mr. Tanaka has stood close to each customer’s challenge.

“It’s unprofitable, isn’t it?” I asked quietly.
Mr. Tanaka said,”It is almost a miracle that I can continue this shop.”
But, because he loves cards, enjoys himself, and is addicted to paper-articles by nature, he has continued running side by side with visitors.

Mr. Tanaka showed me his treasure.
It was a < 5 yen drawing (lottery) bromide > “Crazy-Gon vs. Ultra seven” that was released by Yamakatsu. (Fudemoji: in brush letter).
It is called the best masterpiece of < 5 yen drawing bromides > for its powerful and rare composition.

I presume that it was probably inevitable that visitors who wanted to buy instead of sell rushed in when they saw Kinkee’s advertisement for them to sell their cards.
The advertisement must have included genuine resolution and deep attachment, and that smell would draw the readiness and the deep attachment of other people.

Kinkees(Yasutaka Tanaka)/paper articles(Calbee etc.)(12)

Mr. Tanaka insists to be on the scene for buying and selling.

It is a style of business that is becoming more and more difficult at present.
“Nowadays, store-based sales are out of fashion. The enemy is Internet auction. I dislike the situation anyway.” Mr. Tanaka said.

 “Are you particular about how to price?” I asked him, and he answered immediately.

“Yes, and it is that I won’t be influenced by the Internet.”

Currently, much of the deep history of articles is being cut off by the easy sale of articles on the Internet.

“I presume that Mandarake also has a hard time with store-based sales. In that mean, I feel a sense of familiarity with them.”He said, and added with a smile “In addition, I can’t identify hues of colors on the Internet.”

Kinkees(Yasutaka Tanaka)/paper articles(Calbee etc.)(13)

In the center of this store, there is an island of casually piled up Kamen-Rider albums.
Any visitor can enjoy it by running their fingers along it.

Even though I have never been obsessed with Kamen Rider cards, I can tell that this is certainly a devil’s mountain.
If a person who loved cards took one look at this, probably none can help but be upset at that moment. There’s no doubt that many visitors have reverted to their childhood from a single glance of this mountain.

Mr. Tanaka said, “Even my heart beats madly when I see this.”

To see these heaped albums gives Mr. Tanaka himself a feeling of exaltation, I hear.
“If I were a child, my heart would have stopped.”

Mr. Tanaka said he doesn’t become as excited when it is Kamen Rider cards that are not arranged in the Kamenrider albums.
 “To put them in a common nine-pocket-file won’t appeal. I always go back to these albums.”


He puts Kamen Rider cards in old Kamen Rider albums carefully and turns the pages…and then, the hot summer day of his childhood when he gave up a can of juice to buy a piece of card revives inside him.

Kinkees(Yasutaka Tanaka)/paper articles(Calbee etc.)(14)

“Ah, now I remember,”Mr. Tanaka said suddenly.
“In former days, I believed that I would be able to gather cards for myself after visitors finished gathering theirs. Once visitors are over, then I can… Therefore, I wished everyone would finish quickly.”

When he told me about when he had to give up his collection because of the customers’ insistence, he also said this:
“I wondered how many cards they would be satisfied with.?I wanted them to be over quickly. I wished they would let me finish already.”

Toward Mr. Tanaka, a regular customer put in a word.
“No, we will not be over because we found the step ahead.”

It was the visitor who had said that 10,000 pieces were usual.

“I won’t be over, ever, in my lifetime.

I don’t want to be over.”

The fields of differences in card origin and card colors have already spread.
In other stores it would be a worthless card.But in the world of several hundred or thousand pieces without an identical color, they are still looking for unseen colors.

“I don’t want to make it end.”

“I don’t want to finish.”

“I want to keep touching cards forever.”

At this point, tears welled up in my eyes without me realizing.

They are all trying to prevent ending.

They live in a summer day where the sun never goes down.

I thought that, above all, Mr. Tanaka himself is attempting to live in that.

Kinkees(Yasutaka Tanaka)/paper articles(Calbee etc.)(15)

Today, paper and printing have come to a critical turning point.

With the spread of computers, magazines and paper books were rendered outdated by the electronic ones.As for the printing technique, the type that puts ink on paper was replaced by digital printing, one after another.
Probably, there is no other field like the printing industry that has been as completely reformed.

In this printing business that advances rapidly, it can be said that these old paper articles left far behind are articles of anachronism which are doomed to die out.

But with years gone by and them being matured, that’s exactly why playing and games are more interesting.

Calbee cards which conquered their times…
Having continuously stepped into the information which arises from these cards, now, this store stands undoubtedly in the most brilliant position to overlook the whole printing and distribution scene of the 1970’s.
The constant fight to maintain a store in this day and age supports this behind the scenes.

New discoveries are overflowing.
Children with their hearts beating fast, more and more, continue on with each exploration.
Led by their love for paper articles, Kinkees accompanies their innumerable explorations. This deep passion and their pride riding against the times makes this store a holy place beyond compare.

Finis.