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
Nagoya Banzuke Prediction
by Pierre Wohlleben
fared particularly badly and will be at his lowest rank in about two years.
Moving on to the bottom of the division, the question of who drops down and who gets promoted from juryo appears to be settled, unless the Kyokai throws in a surprise or two. Toki and Shimotori went make-koshi at the lowest, M17 rank and are guaranteed to find themselves in juryo for Nagoya. They will be joined by Hayateumi who had to leave the May tournament with an injury, and veteran maegashira elevator rikishi Tokitsuumi who will be ranked in juryo for the first time in seven years.
Yusho winner Tochisakae recovered quickly from his latest injury spell that forced him to sit out the January tournament. and returns to makuuchi after just two basho in juryo with a combined 23-7 record. Young rikishi Tamaasuka and Hakurozan both scored 10-5 in May and will make their makuuchi debuts. The last open slot should go to Ishide who earned himself a return to makuuchi by rallying from 3-7 to 8-7 at the end of Natsu basho. Additional spots in makuuchi could conceivably go to Senshuyama and Otsukasa, who both went 9-6 at J4, but their bid for promotion likely isn't strong enough with those results, compared to the records of the two rikishi next in line for possible demotion, Takanowaka and Toyozakura. All four of them will probably just barely
The Nagoya basho is fast approaching. This column will attempt to give a bit of a preview on the next banzuke and a few notable facts about it. See here for a complete banzuke guess for both Makuuchi and Juryo. As always, such a prediction naturally involves plenty of guesswork, so keep in mind that not all of the below may turn out to be exactly correct when the Kyokai releases the actual banzuke on June 27th.
Asashoryu continued his unquestioned dominance of sumo in March, scoring the fourth zensho yusho of his career by winning all 15 bouts. He remains the sole yokozuna on the banzuke, a situation that has become a familiar sight by now. Ozeki Tochiazuma will occupy the top ozeki position for the first time since January 2004, when he was fresh off his second tournament victory. Chiyotaikai and Kaio will take spots on the West side.
Hakuho's 9-6 record in March may not have been good enough to keep his rank, as Kotomitsuki's outstanding 13-2 at komusubi east may very well push him up to sekiwake east and displace Hakuho to the sekiwake west rank. Bulgarian
rikishi Kotooshu is a shoe-in for komusubi east, while the West slot is up for grabs between Miyabiyama and Mongolian veteran Kyokushuzan, whose career-best 12-3 record may see him just barely miss out on a return to sanyaku more than eight years after his last appearance there.