Fancy collecting pictures of shirtless hunky fishermen wearing rubber waders?

When it comes to trading cards, you might be most familiar with Pokémon cards or Yu-Gi-Oh cards, or perhaps old-school baseball cards. But Japan really has a trading card for everything, so would you be surprised to know they even have fishermen trading cards?

Local fishermen from the Aomori region of Japan, at the northern tip of Japan’s main island, banded together to produce the cards in order to help boost interest in the prefecture’s fishing industry and seafood products. The cards feature the fishermen themselves wearing only the rubber overalls known as waders, with their names superimposed in Roman lettering and star rankings for rarity printed underneath, just like baseball cards. There’s also a little map that shows the part of the prefecture where they work on the bottom right corner.

Doing the tough work that they do, it isn’t surprising that many of the fishermen are young men with well-chiseled bodies. The image of them shirtless and often posing with large fish, their substantial muscles bulging under the weight of holding them, is enough to make anyone swoon. “It’s a great idea,” said a 64-year-old woman from Aomori City. “People who do manual labor have such muscular bodies.”

But the cards are not just popular among those who find men attractive; people throughout the prefecture were pretty excited to get their hands on them, and even people from outside the prefecture made an effort to visit Aomori to get some.

In fact, the cards originally started out as posters, but they were so popular the fishermen decided to make them into trading cards as well. Currently there are 11 varieties, which are not available for sale and can only be acquired at special promotional events for Aomori seafood products held in the prefecture. They were first distributed to customers who purchased fresh Aomori seafood at the Aomori Snack Fair on March 14.

▼ Aomori-based comedian Masunobu Ono also has a special honorary card, with a “beginner’s” symbol on his picture, since he’s not actually a fisherman.

There are plans for more varieties to be produced in the future, so if you want to support the Aomori fishing industry and at the same time get a card or two for yourself, take a trip to Aomori and try out some of their ocean-fresh seafood. And while you’re there, check out the other great things that Aomori has to offer, such as one of Japan’s most scenic train lines!

Source: Mainichi Shimbun via Twitter/@mainichi via Golden Times
Featured image: Twitter/@aomorinoono
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