Sumo's Foreign Invasion

Mark Buckton
Sumo - still Japanese or truly International?

Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
A look at a rikishi of yesteryear with Umegatani II our man for June

Heya Peek
John Gunning
John attends asageiko at Takasago-beya to give us the first of his bimonthly looks at sumo's stables

Photo Bonanza
Kurt Easterwood & Quinlan Faris
Kurt & Quin treat us to some of the best sumo pics around - and seen nowhere else

May Basho Review
Lon Howard & John Gunning
Lon gives us his Natsu Basho summary and his take on upset of the tournament while John chips in with his 'gem' of the basho

Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila

Mikko provides his round up of the boys in Makushita and below at the Natsu Basho

July Basho Forecast
Pierre Wohlleben & Mark Buckton

Pierre predicts the Nagoya Basho banzuke while Mark previews the ones to watch next time out

Sumo 101
Barbara Ann Klein

Rhyme and reason behind the pre-tachiai rituals that mystified us all as beginners

Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko walks us through A, B & C

John McTague

John's unique view of news from outside the dohyo

Las Vegas Jungyo Teaser
Ngozi Robinson
Months away but like kids at Christmas we are still too excited not to mention it

Online Gaming
Moti Dichne
Hear from the founder of Guess the Banzuke (GTB) on exactly what makes it tick

Le Monde Du Sumo
The original team at MDS tells us how it all started

Sumo Mouse
Todd Lambert
Heya Links Galore and a focus on 3

Fan Debate
JR & EB square off: Right or Left - which should Asashoryu use when receiving kensho?

Let's Hear from You
What was it that made you a sumo fan?

Ngozi Asks
Question of the month - What is Sumo?

Sumo Quiz
The Quizmaster

Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho's banzuke

Guess the Banzuke

by Moti Dichne


Each issue we ask the creators
from the online sumo gaming world
to tell us just what makes their game tick.

Guess the Banzuke (GTB) is a game I first thought up in 1998. The concept is quite simple in that you just have to guess the next basho’s banzuke rankings based on the rikishis’ achievements in a recently finished basho. If you guess the exact rank, you are rewarded with 2 points. If you manage to guess the rank, but not the East/West side on which he sits, it’s 1 point. Whoever gets the most points wins, and gets a medal.

This seemingly easy task is not as simple as it sounds however, as the NSK banzuke makers are quite inconsistent, although basic banzuke guidelines are always adhered to.

The game was first played in

March 1998 with a whopping 6 participants. Slowly, the game gathered momentum, and with the advent of automation, (making an entry manually was very time-consuming) the number of players gradually increased. Today, we have about 120 players each basho which may not sound like much, but is in reality a very large number taking into consideration the extreme difficulty of the game.

The current pre-July Basho game is the 45th (!!) in the series and if you are interested, you can read the rules etc... (In 11 languages!!) at:


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