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

Let's Hear From You!
What Made You A Fan?

by Moti Dichne

rikishi’s name on each one and randomly picking two pieces, putting them on a pillow and throwing them against each other. The one that stayed on the pillow won. I would open the folded piece of paper, and see who it was. Of course, I used to “mark” Taiho’s piece and he would always win the yusho.

My romance with sumo ended abruptly in 1967, when we returned home to Israel and though I tried to keep in touch by subscribing to the Japan Times overseas edition, it was both futile and expensive.

In 1997, I renewed my acquaintance through the Internet, and have been involved with it much more than is healthy for a 51-year-old man. I had thirty years of catching up to do after all, and still have a lot of lost years and blank spaces. (Chiyonofuji? Who was THAT??)

Today, I maintain a colorful yet informative site at and translate Sumo articles from the on-line Japanese press for the Sumo Forum and Mailing List.


Each issue of SFM, We'll ask one of you
to tell us something about you and sumo.
Think you have something readers would like to know?
Write our letters section!

I was first introduced to Sumo in 1960. I was six and a foreigner growing up in Tokyo.

When you were six and growing up in Tokyo in the early 60’s the only sports you could follow were baseball and sumo.

Though I liked baseball and the Giants of Nagashima and Oh fame, sumo was my life. I followed every possible bit of news through the Japan Times and became addicted, so much so that my mom had to force me to take a break from it as my “addiction” meant I was doing really badly at school in those first formative years. This was during the heyday of  Wakanohana I & Tochinishiki and was followed by the golden era of Taiho-Kashiwado. Sumo as was was broadcast daily in black and white on TV, and I wouldn’t miss a day, as long as my mom allowed it. I was there

in real-time, breathlessly jotting down all the records, at a time when Excel sheets and the Internet were features of an episode of “Star Trek” - dubbed in Japanese. Fortunately I was lucky enough to be taken by Shizuko-san our maid to the Kuramae Kokugikan once every few basho to see the action from up close, and even got to meet some rikishi.

At school, we had sumo class in PE and I used to practice it vigorously, though more times than not I would find myself being thrown around like a rag doll. I would mimic the sumo announcers in my head and do a play-by-play broadcast of my bouts as I went joyfully flying inside or outside the mat.

As someone who used to invent sumo games very early on, one of my games involved folding small strips of paper with a

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