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

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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

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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

Yorikiri, Yoritaoshi, Abisetaoshi

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. 

click here for enlargement

Since 1990, yoritaoshi has proved to be the 8th most common winning technique in Makuuchi with an average of 55-60 yoritaoshi per year. That accounts for 3.5% of all Makuuchi bouts. If one takes into account all divisions, yoritaoshi is actually the 5th most common because in lower
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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. 

Despite the rise of oshi-sumo in the last decades or so, yorikiri maintains its role as the most common winning technique. Yokozuna Takanohana was the king of yorikiri in the 1990’s winning over half of his bouts with yorikiri. Most rikishi who specialize in belt sumo have yorikiri as their most frequent winning technique. Since 1990 over 27,000 bouts have taken place in Makuuchi. Over 7,700 of those ended with a kimarite of yorikiri used (about 28.5%). In 2004 (in all divisions) there were 4,243 yorikiri bouts while the second most common technique of oshidashi was seen 3,522 times. 

Yoritaoshi is otherwise identical to yorikiri but the defender falls down under pressure at the tawara so that he lands outside the dohyo. Similar principles apply as with yorikiri, but the

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