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

Nagoya Ones To Watch

by Mark Buckton

mentally strong enough to last for years at the top, his recent 8-6-1 (January), 9-6 (March) and 8-7 (May) are but a sign of things to come if he can add on the pounds. Nagoya Prediction: 10-5 and a shot at sanyaku before the year is  out.

A sanyaku-class sekitori too fast earning himself the title of ‘elevator’ rikishi, Iwakiyama will be sent back down the banzuke after his Natsu 5-10 makekoshi at M4. Far enough, I believe, to enable another healthy basho come July, with a kachikoshi that will put him back in or near the sanyaku ranks. Nagoya Prediction: 10-5

The ability to pull off some wonderful throwing techniques have taken Kotooshu to the level  at which he finds himself today – in lower sanyaku and upper makuuchi. Be that as it may though, he is still in need of another 20 kilos if he’s going to be able to compete favorably against the division’s senior oshi men on a regular basis. Still young and with plenty of maturing to do, Kotooshu should be capable of ozeki or above given time and additional weight. For now though, Nagoya Prediction: 7-8 and a temporary fall from grace – more experience needed.

While it would be delightful to see “Mitsuki” performing to his fullest potential and making Nagoya another step up on his ladder to the rank of ozeki, I
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In just his 10th juryo basho at Nagoya, Daishodai is probably the most under-ranked sekitori still in sumo’s second division. Coming off a 9-6 at J6 in May, the Saitama native needs to control his tendency to lose focus in the second week of a basho in order to make his imminent makunouchi entrance more than just a temporary venture northwards. Nagoya Prediction: another 9-6 and promotion, to join the big boys.

Since first appearing in juryo in 1996, Otsukasa has been up and down between the top two divisions at least a dozen times. Now aged 34, his 9-6 kachikoshi in the May tournament could well prove a turning point in his career. Likely to return to makuuchi for Nagoya, this promotion could conceivably be his last time in the ‘majors’. Nagoya Prediction: 8-7 and a chance to stretch it out till he hits 35.

One half of the Russian brothers, Hakurozan has stagnated somewhat since his juryo debut in Aki of 2004. Hopefully having learned along the way, Nagoya will see him make his makuuchi debut. BUT,

with all the pulling he does and his over-reliance on tawara moves a la Takanonami, his foray into the higher division could prove too much this time out. Nagoya Prediction: 6-9 and demotion back to juryo.

Known as much for his shiko as for his sumo at this point, Katayama secured an impressive 8-7 in his first makuuchi tournament in May.  In the process, however, he suffered something of a week two meltdown. Given that his promotion shouldn’t be too drastic, he will go one of two ways in July: major makekoshi or slight kachikoshi, on day 14 or 15. Opting for the latter, I believe this Shizuoka native could well be the replacement oshi man for the recently retired Kotoryu as well as the aging duo of Wakanoyama and Buyuzan. Nagoya Prediction: 8-7 and a move up to the middle of makuuchi.  

Still fighting at around the weight at which Taiho entered the top division way back when, Mongolian Ama is perhaps the most exciting of the ‘mainlanders’ to watch live and up-close. A wizard with his knowledge of kimarite, and

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