The Ainu are an indigenous people of Japan. Traditional Ainu culture was quite different from Japanese culture, with roots stretching back more than 10,000 years. It is still alive and vibrant today. The Ainu are traditionally animists, believing that everything in nature has a kamuy (spirit or god) on the inside. Never shaving after a certain age, the men had full beards and moustaches Wikipedia →
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Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.
His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.
Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.
Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.
His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.
The first of two decks designed by Ukrainian illustrator Vladislav Erko for “Korchma Taras Bulba” restaurant which serves traditional Ukrainian cuisine
Folk Cards designed by Krystyna Gruchalska-Bunsch for Lot Polish Airlines, 1962.
Irish Legendary deck featuring figures in the Legends of Ireland, designed by Rachel Arbuckle, 1990.
Chinese Costumes from the Winterthur Collection, published by Fournier, 1984.
Ethiopian playing cards designed for the Ethiopian Tourist Organization by Afewerk Teklé.
The Maya Deck produced by Stancraft for Hoyle, 1976.
Neerlands Glorie Kwartetspel published by Hausemann & Hötte N.V, Amsterdam, 1945.
Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript.
National Misfitz published by C.W. Faulkner & Co c.1900.
Many Folk Misfitz published by C.W. Faulkner & Co., c.1906.
Matching game by Majora, Lisbon, c.1970, featuring figures in national dress from Portuguese provinces and colonies
Ethiopian Air Lines playing cards designed by Melles Habtezghi with courts wearing regional costumes, c.1969.
“Naipes Criollos” Gaucho playing cards, 1995.
Naipes Cardón designed by Mario Luis Rivero depicting traditional Argentine culture and identity, 2002.
German History Quartet published by Otto Maier Verlag Ravensburg, c.1930-35.
Characters from the Chinese novel “The Water Margin” - 水滸撲克.
Roman Empire playing cards designed by G. Wyatt for Green Board Game Co Ltd., 2011.
Austrian Folklore deck first published by Piatnik in 1934.
Happy Families of the World published by Pepys Games, 1963.
Souvenir playing cards from Garuda Indonesia Airlines, the national airline of Indonesia.
Native American Warriors from the Wild West Series published by SPCC, 2018.
English Standard pack hand drawn & coloured on banana leaf, c.1820.
Far East playing cards with designs by Isabel Ibáñez de Sendadiano, c.1980.
Souvenir playing cards from the culturally diverse southwestern Pacific island of Papua New Guinea.
Mongolian Religious Mask Dancing playing cards, c.2010
“Allfours Carnival Playing Cards” designed by Gabby Woodham, Trinidad, 1995
Dutch singers, TV and theatre artist playing cards for “Story” magazine, 1978.
“African Art” Playing cards by John J. Beckvermit III, 1994
Sheba playing cards illustrated by Brent Bailer and published by Omega Concepts Ltd, 1972
“Fair Play” cross cultural playing cards illustrated by Canadian artist Stephen B. MacInnes.
East African Playing Cards by Heraclio Fournier S.A., 1957.
Spanish playing cards with Pre-Columbian designs from Argentina, 2001.
“Eastern” playing cards dedicated to ethnic Buryat culture, 2015
“Baraja Gaucha” fantasy deck designed by Mateo Tikas Plechas for Argentina, 1998.
Ancient Civilisations playing cards designed by Celedonio Perellón, produced by Heraclio Fournier, 1973.
“Les Artisans Tunisiens” Jeu de Sept Familles published by Éditions de la Mediterranée, Alpha S.A., Tunis
Naipes ‘Charabon’ - depicting the Gaucho as a national hero, Montevideo, 1983.
“Four Races” playing cards designed by Latvian artist Vilnis Rasa in 1989.
‘Gaucho’ Spanish-suited deck, anonymous manufacturer, made in Argentina, 2001.
‘Naipe Criollo Caraí Pujol’ with Gaucho designs by Julio F. Parada Seifert capturing the spirit of Argentine country life, 2005.