Who is Dr. Sameji? The man behind the Pokemon "shark" autograph

Thanks for the write-up, well done! Most of the information I did already know about, but some small details not yet, so nice to be able to fill in the gaps. :smiley: Also good to see @PocketCreacher already found this article, since he contacted me about some of my comments/threads where I mentioned Sameji.

In case you want to add more signature examples to your list, here are mine:

Date is also 2000.2.20, thus Sapporo Champion Road 2000 as mentioned in your list.

2000.1.9 (January 9th, 2000) - first day of the Champion Road 2000 tournament, which ran from January 9th to February 20th, 2000. (EDIT: Which I see is also already in your list as Nagoya Champion Road 2000.)

1999.8.4 (August 4th, 1999) - Challenge Road Summer 1999 event at the Kantō conference in Tokyo International Exhibition Center (Tokyo).

And I also have the signatures of the Steel- and Dark-type researchers:

Both of the cards are dated 99.12.19 (December 19th, 1999), which was the day of the Doduo Tag Match Corner event, a parent-child Pokémon card tournament in the Official Pokémon Card Gym of Osaka. The top post in this Japanese blog briefly mentions this event and it also has a photo of the female Steel-Type researcher who’s autograph you can see on the right in the picture below (I have yet to see any picture of the male Dark-Type researcher). This Doduo Tag Match Corner was one of the Challenge Road 1999 side events that were briefly mentioned in this Pokumon article.

These and more autographed cards can be found in this post of my collection thread (although I still have to update it with all the autographed cards I added after I made that post).

PS: Some of the pictures within the spoiler tag mention '00 as year, rather than written out 2000 you have in your table above it. Since you’ve added the written out date as third column anyway, I think it’s better if the second column contains the '00 instead of 2000. Just my 2c, though.



With respect to the “Fake Dr. Sameji” auto, I genuinely have no idea what this is. It’s like a joke inside a joke.

The auto definitely has a distinct look and style to the point where it looks like it was signed by a different person (Ooyama pretending to be Dr.Sameji ? Dr.Sameji pretending not to be Dr.Sameji?). Very unclear.

I will say that despite the signature generally looking pretty different from the others, there are similar handwriting features like the stroke of the “r” in “Dr”.

Tmag 5 also mentions Dr.Sameji will be signing at locations that overlap the two dates (Official Pokémon Card Gym events, specifically the two in Nagoya and one in Tokyo have the same date).

So there’s some evidence they could be Dr.Sameji but not enough that I would make a bet on either direction


I may have helped instigate this article :wink: though pfm did all the work on it. I’m very happy to see other people appreciating Dr.Sameji/Shinichi Samejima after spending so much time researching him! Even if he’s not as well known as some other figures in the early TCG, he definitely played an important part in its promotion in Japan and deserves a place in the Pokémon history books. It’s really cool that you have so many related signatures!


I did a fair bit of digging for leads on this as well, but didn’t have much luck finding any direct reports (sadly the relevant event report pages on the official JP Pokémon TCG website don’t seem to have been archived).

I did however take a closer look at available images of the various signatures:

The main thing I’ve noticed is that the regular Dr.Sameji signatures have a more condensed font, especially vertically, which is most noticeable in the capital D. The fake Dr.Sameji signatures are consistently more elongated vertically and generally spaced out, which could be a sign that they were written by someone else, and in turn would follow on with the ongoing joke of “fake” signatures being written by someone other than the name they’re signing under. If they were written by someone else, it would presumably be someone in a professor type role. If we go by existing signatures though, there’s no sign of Akunouchi/Haganezawa after 99.12.19, and if Dr.Ooyama/Kouichi Ooyama were present at the 2000.10.9/2000.11.19 events it’s weird for him to not have been announced alongside Dr.Sameji. The only other possible “professors” off the top of my head are the PCL crew and other unidentified event staff, for which there aren’t many signature examples as far as I know, but they may not be out of the question.

That said, if you look back and compare the fake Dr.Sameji signatures with fake Dr.Ooyama signatures, which we do know were written by Dr.Sameji/Shinichi Samejima, they appear to be written in similarly vertically elongated characters. Based on this I think it is possible that Samejima just switched up his writing style as part of the joke. It does also make some sense for the font to be a bit bigger/spaced out when it isn’t crammed into the shark sketch (though this assertion is a little more flimsy since the dates outside of the shark are also pretty condensed on those sigs).

As you’ve seen already, this extra unusual example of the fake Dr.Sameji signature found here (and seen in the psyduck from the image comp I included above) 激レア サインカード ニセドクターサメジーさん スリーパー ポケモンカード(ポケモンカードゲーム)|売買されたオークション情報、yahooの商品情報をアーカイブ公開 - オークファン(aucfan.com) (with the extended “me” instead of “ji” in Sameji to add to the joke/confusion) is still the only direct comment I’ve seen on the subject, though I wouldn’t trust google translate to give a totally accurate translation/impression of meaning or clear indication of who is being referred to.


Ive been told that the fake dr Sameji is Ooyama by some people that are very into pokemon autos.

There was also some video mentioning it on Instagram as well.

The “9” is done in a single stroke

Then again, Ooyama does the same

He also has used the apostrophe notation

the “ji” ジ is also distinct, very parallel. But there is some variation and it’s not a unique way of writing it.

I would overall characterize the Dr.Samejis to be sloppy and the Fake Dr.Sameji to be pretty neat, which is what throws me off.

Really tough to say


Evidence would be great. “People into autos” have been wrong about a lot of things, myself included.

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Interesting point on the apostrophe! It doesn’t seem as though he used the apostrophe to shorten dates outside of the examples from that date, but it’s still a possible link. The fake Dr.Samejima signatures do seem to have a bit of a looser handwriting style compared to the compact/neat shark Dr.Sameji signatures. It would be pretty hilarious if Ooyama did double down on the joke/confusion by signing as fake Dr.Sameji.

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Not sure if the article says something to support but was posted alongside it.

Kantochris and AMcollectablesltd in IG have said the same thing with them signing for each other.

Fake Sameji being ooyama and fake ooyama being sameji


I put that send magazine section into the article above but didn’t do a full translation of it. I’ll give it a closer look, thanks!

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Retrosteelix is a good friend of mine, i can ask where she got that information


She got her information from exactly this magazine page, here’s a rough translated version

Edit: misread the translation in a hurry, not adding much proof to dr. ooyama being fake dr. sameji

While I think it is possible that Dr.Ooyama/Kouichi Ooyama is the person who wrote the fake Dr.Sameji signatures, I’m not sure how this page (which is from Trainer’s Magazine Vol.4) supports that. The translation you have there is a little funky, but an auto translation of a clearer picture (from the scans provided by Prochaos) of the page says approximately this:

Fake Dr.Ooyama is revealed to be Dr.Sameji! One hot summer day, Fake Dr.Ooyama decided that since the year 2000 was approaching, he would also become more powerful. After undertaking a few weeks of special training with Pokémon cards on a faraway island, he returned saying “I’m Dr.Sameji!”…he is otherwise identical."

Actually, the real identity of the Fake Dr. Ooyama is Dr. Sameji, the father of Sameji who is the person in charge of “Mail Order Paradise”.

The additional text on the page just adds to this point, and on the right the character Sameji (also played by Shinichi Samejima) is described as Dr.Samejima’s son.

In each volume of Trainer’s Magazine, there’s a segment at the end called Tsuuhan Paradise (approximately Mail Order Paradise) where one of the magazine personalities advertises the current mail order products, which is where Dr.Sameji’s “son” comes from.

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She too mentioned it’s not exactly bulletproof scource, and i just realised that since i was in a bit hurry when receiving that translation i accidentally read it saying that fake dr sameji was dr ooyama even though it says exactly vice versa, so not adding much proof anyway. I’ll edit the previous message.

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So back to square one with no definitive evidence

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