The Japan Hobbyist presents: Do you want to be a Cardboard Samurai?

When I first started this blog, I had just one goal and one purpose: to share my experiences playing Magic the Gathering in Japan with the world. Since then it has evolved and grown into hub of Magic activity for English speaking Magic players living and working in Japan. I’ve gone from just talking about my local metagame and what decks I like to use to articles about the limited format, picking good removal after a set rotation, speculating on cards, preparing for big tournaments like Grand Prix, and much more.

At the end of last year I said I had big plans for my website, and today is one of the first announcements of many that will be coming this year as I move forward with my website and The Japan Hobbyist brand. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like you to meet the cardboard samurai, the new mascot of TJH. For the sake of the article, lets call him Dan Boru (which means cardboard in Japanese).

The Cardboard Samurai

The Cardboard Samurai – Trademarked by Ryan Schwenk. Art by James Harvey

Dan is a hardcore, serious MTG player that can be quite eccentric at times. He’s been playing in Japan for a long time and through his travels he has honed a Japanese Magic the Gathering warrior spirit. He is ready to battle at a moment’s notice. He always carries around various decks, which can be from the standard, modern, or legacy format depending on the day. His backpack is full of MTG goods: trade binders, pens, life counters. He is the ultimate Magic Samurai.

But Dan Boru isn’t just a wondering samurai. No, he is looking to recruit English speaking Magic players from around Japan to form an elite group of Magic Warriors called “The Cardboard 7”. They don’t all have to standard swordsmen though. They can be mystics of modern, limited legends of the longstaff, or be the legacy of a longbow archer (haha, okay, I think I’m done with the puns and alliteration now). 

Benefits of being a Cardboard Samurai and how to become one

If you’re interested in becoming a Cardboard Samurai, you can find our group on Facebook under the name “The Japan Hobbyist’s Cardboard Samurai“. It’s currently a closed group, so you’ll have to ask the admin (me) to approve you.

As I said, Dan Boru is ONLY looking for serious players currently living in Japan, however if you visit Japan from time to time and would like to be included in discussion about the metagame, comment on and share deck lists, I’m also opening up this group to 47 Cardboard Ronin. These wandering, masterless Cardboard Samurai will be welcome in our group and can come and go as they please when they plan on visiting Japan. They will be treated as brothers in arms at events and will be privy to information of the group if they’d like.

These warriors will work together and help each other to prepare for Pro Tour Qualifiers, Grand Prix (and trials), offer drafting tips, and anything else that helps the Cardboard 7 to become a stronger team. I am making this group so that The Cardboard Samurai become a well known Magic the Gathering team in Japan and (maybe) in the future, worldwide. I have met and know players in Nagoya, Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, and Kyoto, but there isn’t one all encompassing group of players yet. I want The Japan Hobbyist’s Cardboard Samurai to be the first of its kind. With the information we share, we can have an edge over our opponents at standard and modern tournaments in Japan. 

Having players spread out around Japan also means that our group will have contacts wherever we go. If you need directions to a PTQ or an event hall hosting a Grand Prix, want to go shopping at Magic stores in another player’s city, or just meet up for some casual play or trading, you’ll be able to ask players in the group. I don’t know how many times I got lost looking for an event hall in Chiba or a store in Tokyo. This will hopefully end the stress of traveling around Japan for MTG events.

If you don’t meet the criteria of living in Japan or visiting it from time to time, but know somebody that might be interested in this group, please let them know about it! If you are unable to contact me on Facebook, please send me a direct message on twitter @yoschwenky with your interest in joining the group. 

But wait, there’s more!

No team would really be one without a uniform of some sort, right? That’s why before Grand Prix Nagoya, I’ll be printing out T-shirts for our team members to wear. Colors, design, and sizes will be discussed on the Facebook group, so if you want to be a part of the process please join The Japan Hobbyist’s Cardboard Samurai! I plan on having my readers also help me with the process in the coming weeks, with free shirts going out to random followers (once I get the shirts made). Sometime in the future I would also like to offer shirts for sale on my blog to anybody wanting to support us. I’ll let you know when that gets closer though. I will also be printing out business cards for members of the group if they want them for handing out at events to help promote The Japan Hobbyist and to let people know what a Cardboard Samurai is. 

As the group gains notoriety, it would be great to bring more writers on to the Japan Hobbyist as well to help improve content and to turn it into the GO TO source for Japanese Magic the Gathering information in English. You’d be surprised how many players around the world are interested in the going ons of the MTG community in Japan. If you’re interested in joining the group, becoming a writer for the website in the near future, or maybe have a question about something I didn’t cover, please leave a comment down below or find me on Facebook. 


Last but not least, I’d like to thank all my readers for supporting me since I started this blog back in November, 2011. Only had 100 views a month in 2011, so I don’t really feel like my blog started until my first big pre-release in Nagoya for Avacyn Restored. Just today my blog has hit 100,000 views and I couldn’t have done it without all of you reading, commenting, and sharing articles with your friends and twitter followers. This is a huge milestone, but only the first of many. With your continued support, 2014 will be the year of the Cardboard Samurai!