Tetsuya Tsutsumi /profile

This blog will be open on November 30,TOMORROW.

An announcement of forthcoming interview.

The 1st enthusiast who is going to talk  is

Tetsuya Tsutsumi

 

In 1960, Tetsuya Tsutsumi was born in Tokyo, raised in Saitama prefecture.
He finished at The Tokyo-designer-school.
A researcher and a writer for Tokusatsu.
He mainly writes on the subject of the special effects drama in Showa-period, such as ” Kamen-Rider “that the Toeiworks producer,Tohru Hirayama whom Tsutsumi has respected created.

In the elementary school days, Tsutsumi was hooked on collecting Kamen-Rider cards.
After he grew up, he restarted collecting, through the fanzine, published his first work “Kamen-Rider card” in 1993.
Tsutsumi established the classification of Kamen-Rider cards, laid the philological foundation for the study, solidified the position of the leading authority in this field.
In addition to Kamen-Rider cards, he has continued the study and collection of paper articles : premium cards of various snacks, mini-cards and the five yen bromaides sold in an old fashioned penny candy store.
「The Ultra-Bromides」(1997 Husoh-sya)
「Maguma-Taishi(=The Special Giants) perfect book (1999 Byakuya-syobo)
「Gozilla bromaide complete collection   All of the Toho popular Kaiju monster are charging」(2000 Enterbrain)
「The Legend of our heroes   The study for the heroes in the anime and Tokusatsu works in the 40’s Syowa Period」(2002 Huso-sya)
「The complete file of「Akuma-kun」「Kappa-no-Sanpei」・・・The TV drama by Shigeru Mizuki original work」(2002 Seirin-do)  「The complete collection of Kamen-Rider X, Amazon, Stronger」(2004 Hutaba-sya)
「Ultra-Heroes perfect guidebook」(2012 Mediamix)   etc.

Tetsuya Tsutsumi / Kamen rider card (1)

In September 2016

Mr. Tsutsumi, whom I had not seen for a long time, had become considerably thinner.
I knew that he had been hospitalized and had had an operation. Indeed, he looked like a person who had just survived a serious illness.

As it was the second day of the three-day weekend, the streets were very crowded. Moreover, it was raining.
Mr. Tsutsumi was constantly rubbing his chest, saying that he feels tingling of his operation  scar on a raining day.
“I am sorry that I asked you to come here on such a day.”, I  said.
“It’s all right. Three months have passed since I had the operation.I had better go out because I have been staying in all  the time. It’s a good opportunity, as a rehab as well.” , Mr. Tsutsumi said. he moved his shirt and showed me his scar.
“・・・Oh, You slightly look like a Kamen rider.”
“Yes, I am really a “remodeled” human being.”
We entered the coffee shop at the basement of the east exit.
Mr. Tsutsumi ordered a hot milk tea and looked relieved.
“I brought this card first, as the most orthodox of orthodox.”
He put a card in a transparent sleeve on the table.

“The 46th card of the 14 station edition.”

Kamen rider does a somersault in the photograph.The sky is dark and cloudy, and I cannot see the face of the Kamen rider  who is twisting his body, due to the angle.This is the “phantom” card that did not appear till the very end.

 

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On the back of the card, this was written.

<<< 46   Lucky card

Please send this card to the following address.We will send you an album to keep your Kamen rider cards in.

Calbee confectionery company,   department of Kamen rider cards

Hirade Industrial Estate   Utsunomiya city

Kamen rider’s secret

He has artificial-muscles that are 10 times stronger than a human beings’.
Cars are no match against a kick with his Rider foot   >>>

 

I would also add that〈14 stations〉refers to when Kamen-Rider was broadcasted  on 14 television stations. The 1st~60th  Rider-cards in the first edition belong to this 14 stations edition.
Formerly, it was a well-known fact among card enthusiasts that the 46th card of the 14 stations edition did not  appear. Everyone was looking for this, but could not find it.The card did not come out for so long that some people said it might not exist.
But then, Mr.Tsutsumi inferred that the unseen 46th card must be a 〈lucky card.〉

Tetsuya Tsutsumi / Kamen rider card (2)

Here, I would like to go over the fundamental information of the famous<Kamen rider card >.

“Kamen rider cards” are the cards which were attached, one card each, to the <Kamen rider snack>, which the snack maker Calbee put on the market in 1971.
On the front side, it has a photograph of Kamen rider, who was a big hit amongst children, and on the back side, a  commentary.These cards have sequential numbers, and the 1st to the 546th cards were issued at the time.

For sales expansion in parallel with increase of TV broadcasts,, the cards were re-edited over and over.<14stations edition>→ <25stations edition>→<Mincho-typeface edition>→< Gothic typeface edition>, and then,<Mincho-typeface newcard>,<Gothic-newcard>.Afterwards,<the symbpl edition> appeared.

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(14stations,25stations,Mincho,and the gothic)

(By the way,<14 stations>,<25 stations> represents the number of TV broadcast stations that was televising “Kamen rider”then,and<Minchotypefaceedition>,<the gothic typeface  edition>represents the typeface  used in a part of the comments on the back side. <The symbol version> has a letter (ex: N, S, T, TS) in the lower right of the back side)

Our topic, the <14 stations edition>, is the earliest issue of Kamen rider cards.The first edition of the 1st〜60th card belongs to the 14 stations edition.

Now, the<lucky-card> is a card which has the benefits to exchange for a <Kamen rider card album> when sent to Calbee.

Generally, a few lucky cards are mixed in among a lot of normal cards.However, in extremely limited cases, some cards always appear as lucky cards.The 41st and the 46th of the 14stations edition, and the 35th and the 73rd of the 25stations edition are such a case.Collecting them is so difficult that these cards are called “the big four”.

Among the four, the 41st and the 46th of the 14 stations edition were even more characteristic.Usually, the back side of a normal card has the commentary for the photograph.Usually, the back side of a lucky card has the address information to  exchange it for a card album.But these two cards have both the commentary and the information!

(continue to next time)

 

Tetsuya Tsutsumi / Kamen rider card (3)

At that time, Mr.Tsutsumi was inferring.
The 46th card of the 14 stations which doesn’t come out even though everybody is desperately looking for it…. it must be a lucky card.

 

He had a reason for this inference.In those days, there was a card like the 46th that was difficult to find,which was the 41st of the 14 stations.

Mr.Tsutsumi said,”I knew that the 41st was a luckycard”. ” In an image of the CM  that was  the bonus films of the released Kamen rider LD box, the 41st appeared. It was a lucky card ,which was well known among the enthusiasts.Therefore,the 46th which doesn’t come out in the same way must be a luckycard,I thought.”

He inferred it, but was not able to prove it. Because at any rate, he couldn’t find the actual article.Even if it was not in his hands, there generally should have been someone  who had seen it.However, not a single person had seen the 46th of 14 stations to begin with. Meanwhile, the 41st was found. The 46th, never being discovered, became  more and more mysterious.“Perhaps the 41st may not exist”…some people began to say such a thing.

 

It was at that time that the request to appear   in a certain TV program   came to him.The program is called “Kaiun! Nandemo Kanteidan ! ” , literally meaning ” Opening Fortunes! Appraisal party for everything”( later referred to as “Kanteidan”).  It was a popular program, has aired from 1994.

 

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Kamen rider album ( Calbee )

continue to next time

Tetsuya Tsutsumi / Kamen rider card (4)

“Kaiun! Nandemo Kanteidan” (Later referred to as “Kanteidan”)

I think many people know this TV program, which evaluated and put a price on our familiar treasures.
The astonishment and novelty of witnessing a high price being put on an article that had not been regarded as a precious one attracted the viewers.
Mr.Teruhisa Kitahara, who is famous for his tin toys collection, made his appearance in this program.
Mr.Tsutsumi, who had been already well-known as a reseacher of “Kamen rider card”, was asked to appear in it.
There was not a better opportunity than this to look for something.

 

He appealed to the audiences through the TV program,

“I will buy  < the 46th of the 14 stations > of Kamen rider card  at 100,000 yen.”

Today, he thinks everything started at that time.
The price of 100,000 yen didn’t mean a mere sum of money.
The fight to raise the public value of “Kamenrider cards” had started.

Tetsuya Tsutsumi / Kamen rider card (5)

Mr. Tsutsumi appealed to the viewers through the TV program.
“I’m looking for the 46th of 14 stations Kamen rider card.
If you bring the card to me, I will pay  100,000 yen for it.”
100,000 yen for a single card.
It was an exorbitant price beyond imagination in those days.

 

According to Mr.Tsutsumi,”Cards, pictures of a star… any paper articles were really lowpriced as a collector item those days.About 30 years ago, when I was 23 or 24years old, I used to go to the collectors’ shops,< Natsukashi-ya>, <Omrice(=omlet containing fried rice)>, and <Heroes>, in Shimokitazawa for Kamen rider-cards. Paper articles were really quite cheap!””At <Heroes>, we were required to pay an admission fee of 100 yen until  the shop owner recognized the person.”
One day he discovered three rare cards in the 500 serial at Heroes.He intended to buy them immediately, but couldn’t.
“The shop owner required me to buy 36 cards for 15,000 yen altogether.He wanted me to buy both the good and the bad together. In truth,It was troublesome for the owner to sell them separately. That was how things were. Some card-enthusiasts like me would go there and examine cards for hours, only to buy a few hundred yen’s worth. And so cardmanias were disliked, I suppose.”

 

 

In response to Mr. Tsutsumi’s appeal, owners of the card came out at last.
Moreover, two people︕
Mr.Tsutsumi paid 100,000 yen to each and bought both.
The 46th card of 14stations that emerged for the first time was indeed a lucky card, as Mr.Tsutsumi had expected.

Tetsuya Tsutsumi / Kamen rider card (6)

However, Mr.Tsutsumi’s heart also throbbed for another reason.
It was because the one who brought the 46th had a lot of other rare cards in his card album.
Mr.Tsutsumi was dying to buy them too.

 

Furthermore, he had another reason for his heart to throb.
The person was keeping those cards in the rarest and the notorious one of Kamenrider card albums, which had caused much tragedy. When kids kept cards in that album, the cards often stuck to the vinyl pockets and were spoiled, and both the cards and the album would be thown away…He was breathless as he stole glances at the album.
After the program was over, he immediately bargained with the person and bought the cards and album together for 500,000 yen.Miraculously, not even one card was stuck to the vinyl pocket.

 

“The owner told me that they often took cards out of the album to enjoy looking at. ” Mr.Tsutumi said.The way to protect the cards is not to forget them and to take them out of the album often.It is of profound meaning, I think.
That owner was also a person who had always loved Kamen rider cards.

Tetsuya Tsutsumi / Kamen rider card (7)

Here, let’s look back on the history of studying the Kamen rider card to know the position of Mr. Tsutsumi at that time.
In my hand, I have the fanzine considered to be the earliest “bible”.
The title is “Let’s GO!” Rider card”

 

In the colophon:
<300 copies limited, published in 1985
Publicated by Association for the Study of Toei-Works.
Supervisor: Masashi Fujii (from Okayama prefecture)>

 

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This is the first book which published all of the 1st-546th Ridercards, both the photographs and the commentaries.Moreover, they showed some samples of <a lucky card >, <a Kamen rider card album>, the enclosure bag of the card, and the envelope of the card album.They also refer to the tele-recording of “Kamen-rider” and researched the source of each photograph as thoroughly as possible. They indicated the number of photographs per televised episode in the supplement  commentary page too.

They had not yet separated the 14 stations edition from the 25 stations edition and so they published both the 41st and 46th card from only the 25 station edition.

But they had already noted the existence of different kinds of cards with the same number, and distinguished between the Mincho-typeface and the Gothic typeface.

Besides that, they mentioned the number in the lower right of the back side(= the symble edition).It has become a book that shows the path in which the study of the Kamen rider card traced after that.

In those days, uploading an image to a computer was out of the question,and the word-processor had not been popularized yet.
From the words of the handwritten editor’s postscript, their desperate efforts can be seen through the lines.Here, out of profound respect, I want to put down this writing.

<・Phew….It’s somehow finished. The only remaining problem is clearness once printed.・I spread out white screentone under the cards to copy them,and pasted them to the manuscript. (only the front side)・Though some images of the back side are too blurrily printed, I don’t feel like doing it over again.・The ideal is photocopying them in full-color! But it is impossible… I am satisfied we’ve got here.・If we can complete it with an empty snack package and the cardboardbox for the Kamen rider snack, we will have achieved perfection…・Well,please enjoy it.・Sorry to be slow in publishing . >

img_0522-1     Contents

continued the next  time

Tetsuya Tsutsumi / Kamen rider card (8)

After< Let’s GO! Rider card >,in 1986, Kodansha published “the Kamen rider monsters complete works”.
I must mention that it was the first book by a major publisher that introducedall the pictures of  Kamen rider card .546 card , printed in monochrome, were arranged ( on the pages),and the commentary’s points  were summarized.

 

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But then, Mr.Tsutsumi and the enthusiasts around him didn’t feel happy at all.
They were not satisfacted with the book’s quality of the contents introducing the cards.

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Tetsuya Tsutsumi /Kamen rider card (9)

Mr.Tsutsumi says:

“In my childhood, I managed to arrive at the point where I was two cards away from completing all cards from the first to the 546th. The only cards I didn’t have were the 508th and the 545th.”

 

“In my vocational college,my classmate who was fond of Kamen rider cards had the 545th card in his card album. I saw the 545th for the first time.Kindheartedly, he gave the 545th to me. Now one card away  from completion, I went to a collector’s shop in Shimokitazawa. The 508th card was among the only three cards in the 500s serial in the shop.That was the time when I was required to buy them altogether for 15,000 yen. Anyway, my collection completed, from the first to the 508th.”

 

“After that, I told my friend Hayajima, who had collected Kamen rider cards with me in our childhood, that there was a collector’s shop selling the cards and he began collecting again.
So we began visiting the shops in Shimokitazawa for cards together, and I started collecting the Mincho-typeface edition, the Gothic-typeface edition, and the Symbol< N > edition.”

 

“When did I notice the 14stations and 25stations editions?
I had already recognized them when I was an elementary student.
As for them, the explanations were written in two lines in the lower part of the front side of the cards.That’s why I called them <two lines of letter cards>.”

14stations & 25stations (two lines of letter), Mincho, Gothic.

 

“I noticed the Mincho-typeface edition and the Gothic-typeface edition, too.
A Kamen rider album has pockets to arrange three pieces of cards side by side.Therefore, I arranged three cards, the <two lines of letters>, the<Mincho-typeface> and the<the Gothic-typeface> in a row and enjoyed it.”

 

“I already vaguely had the classification in my elementary school days.So, once I started collecting again as a grown up, all I had to do was gather the cards.After having graduated from the vocational college, I worked for a printing company and I had knowledge on printing. I might have has an advantage there.”

 

“Meanwhile, I got to know Mr.Taguchi, one of the members who published < Let’s GO! Rider-card >.
He showed me cards with different commentary sentences with the same number, and I realized the fun in them.That was how I was hooked on this world, step by step.

 

In 1992, Mr.Tsutsumi published his first fanzine(= a magazine printed by fans).
It was called “Snack Kamen rider Cards Super Catalogue”.

Tetsuya Tsutsumi / Kamen rider card (10)

In 1993, Mr. Tsutsumi published his main work, “Kamen rider cards”, with Nihon Bungeisha.He presented the content of his fanzine again, and aimed to spread it among the public.In this book, he arranged the 1st~546th card in full color.


Furthermore, he attached the Rider-card issue list and showed definitely the distinction between the 14 stations, the 25 stations, Mincho-typeface, the Gothic-typeface, and the Newcard editions.In addition to this, he tackled the variety of cards with the same number, earnestly.He aimed to enable people to compare the differences between the cards in photos, designs, and commentaries.

 

 

He says in this book:

“In fact, the main feature of the 106th~128th cards is in the abundance of variable cards with the same number.
To be exact, these are classified into three types: the Mincho-typeface edition(106-128), the Gothic-typeface edition(106-124), and the Sign edition(signs such as N and S are printed on the lower part of the back side).”

As mentioned before(in my previously entry (9)), Mr. Tsutsumi had vaguely recognized these differences in his elementary school days.These differences were naturally recognized while he devoted himself to collecting and arranging the cards in his childhood. In this book, Mr. Tsutsumi introduced different cards which he had collected in his album during his childhood, and commented on the difference of colors.