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Sherlockian-Themed Japanese Phone Card by Wallage Shoes

Sherlockian-Themed Japanese Phone Card by Wallage Shoes

‘Come, Watson, come!’ he cried. ‘The game is afoot….’

– The Adventure of the Abbey Grange (ABBE)

Wallage Shoes Phone Card

Many of the visitors to this website probably recall the days when pay phones were a common site when walking down a city sidewalk or inside a hotel lobby. You would drop a few coins into the phone, dial the number and make your call.  Perhaps you would use a calling card  if you were making a long distance call. In the mid 1990’s, there started to appeared prepaid calling cards by some enterprising companies, such as AmeriVox. These prepaid calling cards would generally have 50 call units that would be redeemed at a fixed ratio as the call progressed, until the card would have no remaining call units.

In Asia, prepaid calling cards are quite prevalent and frequently used to promote products or services. Public phones are equipped with card readers.  A user would insert the prepaid card into the reader, make the phone call and when finished remove the card.  The card reader would punch a small hole into the card, prior to its removal, showing approximately how many call units remain, if any.


The phone card pictured above was issued by Wallage Shoes, a division of ASICS, and was good for 50 call units. We have a person – dressed like Sherlock Holmes with deerstalker, inverness cape and pipe- using a magnifying glass to inspect a black left shoe for men.  In the background, behind the Holmes character, is a yellow fire hydrant. The card colors are blue and white, with black printing. The back of the card is silver colored with black printing.  The “fine print” on the back indicates that the card is intended for use in Japan.

Your editor would be very grateful to be contacted by any Japanese Sherlockians, who could translate this and other Japanese phone cards.

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