Following up on a comment by Hawkeye in another thread, The Yousuke Takahashi Karma Tarot is an intriguing case. From what I've been able to discover, it consists of cards Takahashi (a well-known manga artist) designed for a Japanese online fortune-telling site developed by a company called Media Juggler. There was apparently never an official release of an actual physical deck, but mid last year, copies of a version of the deck started showing up on a Japanese auction site. The seller's description implied that it was fan-made in very small quantity and not sold though any regular channels. That would tend to imply that it was a fan somehow making copies for him or herself, but the fact that the packaging includes copyright notices for both Media Juggler and Takahashi, and that they were being sold (semi) openly in Japan would tend to imply not (Japanese copyright holders tend to be pretty strict about unauthorized use of their IP).
My initial suspicion was that someone had done screen captures of the cards from the web site and printed them with an inkjet or laser printer. But when I got them, they turned out to be obviously professionally printed on nice card stock, and clearly from high-res copies of the original artwork. Some poking around with Google and a web translator (I unfortunately read no Japanese), turned up a blog entry from last year hinting that someone within Media Juggler wanted copies for him or her self and got them printed from the original artwork. Since there was a minimum required quantity, the remainder were apparently sold via auction.
For anyone (Hawkeye?) who actually reads Japanese, It's the 2006.4.14 blog entry here.
The deck is 22 cards 2.75" x 4.75". Most of the cards appear to have a kind of quirky relationship to the traditional tarot imagery (although in a few cases I really don't see it). Here are some examples.
Left to right, top to bottom:
The High Priestess
Justice (irony alert!)
Judgement (here as Resurrection via the Phoenix)
I've get some information about a distributor of Karma Tarot.
He is an enthusiastic fun of Yousuke Takahashi. And He wanted to get a printing-matter of Karma Tarot.
After communication with Yousuke Takahashi & So-Net(server management co, subsidiary of SONY)
, he officially got the right of publishing KarmaTarot.
Still now Karma Tarot is sold at the Yahoo-Auction, most populer auction site in Japan.
Also distributor can supply for an instruction about Karma Tarot by PDF.file.
Card-Title is absolutely changed.
0 Innocent Child
2 Precision Machine
5 Soul-Contract Paper
8 Lion Trainer
11 Witch Hunting
20 the Phoenix
the 2006.4.14 blog, ahclem remarked, doesn't mention much information about publishing. But this blog suggests that a distributor may be a president of Meddia Juggler Co.