Rare Tarot Cards Images from Japan

Rare and elusive because they were not produced as cards. Some were supplements to obscure magazines and books. Some were drawn to illustrate the texts which had virtually nothing to do with divination, card game etc.

I'd like to hunt down these strange animals lurking in the Japanese forest of popular publication. And I'm a follower of the philosophy of beautiful Swedish lady Miss Ulla Inga Hansen Benson Yonsen Tallen-Hallen Svaden Svanson who sings "When you got it, flaunt it".

item no.1

Akatsuka Fujio Tarot

from Akatsuka Fujio, Zenbu Kirinuku Hon [a book of which all pages are to be cut out] (21seiki books, Tokyo, 1975). It's a kind of paper craft book, all pages are to be cut out and played with. Akatsuka Fujio (1935-) had been one of the foremost manga-creators of 60s and 70's and had a considerable influence on pop culture of Japan. Sadly he took to drinking and has been in and out of hospitals ever since.

Right : four cards from "Manga Tarot Cards" of Akatsuka Fujio. The charactors are from his manga. Printed on thick paper and instruction says "cut into four".

item no.2

Ota Daihachi Tarot from Sekaino utato meruhen vol.9. Utano tubasani (Sekai-bunkasha, Tokyo, no date [1977]).

The title might be roughly transtaled as "Poetry and fairy tales of the World vol.9. To the wings of songs"( of 18 volms in all). This is a combination of text, picture and music. In a small cardboard boxcase (108*160mm), upper left, are poetrybook (lower left), picture book (lower right) and music cassette tape (upper right).

The vol.9 features German Poems ; Wild Rose series of Goethe, Heinne etc. Musics from J.S.Bach, Schuman, Richard Strauss etc. And somehow a Tarot themed picture book !

The artist of Tarot book is Ota Daihachi (1918-), a veteran illustrator to many books. Texts by Funezaki Katsuhiko
the front view of Tarot book

an example of page layout