Sumo's Foreign Invasion
Sumo - still Japanese or truly International?
Rikishi of Old
A look at a rikishi of yesteryear with Umegatani II our man for June
John attends asageiko at Takasago-beya to give us the first of his bimonthly looks at sumo's stables
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
Lower Division Rikishi
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
Barbara Ann Klein
Rhyme and reason behind the pre-tachiai rituals that mystified us all as beginners
Mikko walks us through A, B & C
John's unique view of news from outside the dohyo
Las Vegas Jungyo Teaser
Months away but like kids at Christmas we are still too excited not to mention it
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
Heya Links Galore and a focus on 3
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?
Question of the month - What is Sumo?
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho's banzuke
KIMARITE FOCUS #1
by Mikko Mattila
finish is often more dramatic. Roughly speaking, there are two main reasons for the bout to finish with yoritaoshi rather than with yorikiri. There are tenacious rikishi who'll fight to the end and attempt to hang on at the jutted hay bales while the attacker is exerting pressure. In such circumstances, they may try sacrifice throws or twist their bodies in order to cause the attacker to step out before they fall. When those last ditch attempts or desperate back bending defenses fail, yoritaoshi is quite the natural outcome. Another main reason for yoritaoshi is a clumsy fall due to fast and bulldozing attack by the opponent. In such cases the defender simply loses control of his legs or the attacker is in such a dominating position, using so much power that the defender doesn't have time or the leverage to defend properly and yoritaoshi can ensue.
Yorikiri is called "frontal force out" in English. Since 1990, approximately one third of all Makuuchi division bouts have ended with yorikiri, making it the most common winning technique in sumo. Yorikiri represents traditional idealism for good sumo, where the attacker has a grip on the defender's belt and from this position forces the defender backwards and over the tawara. Some degree of grip is essential for it to be registered officially as yorikiri and the defender must have his front or side towards the attacker. In the case that the attacker has managed to get behind the defender and has a grip on the defender's belt while escorting him out front side first, it will be called okuridashi (rear push out).
Yorikiri is the ambassador of yotsu-sumo in its simplest and most conservative form and as a result may not always stir the emotions in the viewers, as it rarely manifests itself in the form of conspicuously spectacular moves. One could argue that yorikiri is very simple and doesn't involve dramatic throws, falls or lifts as can be deduced from its
definition. Then again yorikiri is just the substitute for a still image of the decisive moment of the bout and as such can give a wrong impression of the preceding action on the dohyo. A yorikiri win can be set up by a variety of throwing and tripping attempts, pushes, pulls and fancy footwork.