<DATE> Contents

SOS - Shinjinrui on Sumo  
Chris Gould
Wrapping up his look at increasing the popularity of sumo, Chris Gould caps a series the NSK would do well to refer to.
Sumo Souvenirs  
Mark Buckton
Souvenirs are a part of every sport and sumo is no different - or is it? A look at collectibles and the downright trashy, the bona fide versus the unproven.
Rikishi of Old  
Joe Kuroda
Joe Kuroda's latest look at times past focuses on former makunouchi man Dewagatake.
Eric Evaluates  
Eric Blair
Eric takes a no-nonsense look at the claims of fixed bouts in the Japanese media.
Rikishi Diary  
Mark Kent
Mark Kent - English pro-wrestler and amateur heavyweight sumotori - takes us through the first month or so of his training and preparation for the various European events lined up in in 2007.
Heya Peek  
Chris Gould
SFM's Chris Gould was in Japan for the Hatsu Basho and popped along to the new Shikoroyama Beya to give SFM an online exclusive peek into sumo's newest heya.
SFM Interview  
Mark Buckton
Mark interviews Mark - Buckton on Kent that is as Mark Kent, the UK's only active heavyweight amateur answers a few questions on his own recent entry into the sport.
Photo Bonanzas  
Sumo Forum stepped in to take the weight off the shoulders of SFM as far as Hatsu went so we could sit back, relax, enjoy the sumo and take a few more select pics you won't see anywhere else.
Hatsu Basho Summary
Lon Howard
Lon wraps the Hatsu Basho and chucks in a few bits on the rush of henka that threatens to sully the good name of at least one foreign ozeki.
Sumo Menko  
Ryan Laughton
Sumo cards of old brought to life by expert collector Ryan Laughton. None of your BBM here.
Haru Ones To Watch
Carolyn Todd
Carolyn ponders and puts fingers to keys on the ones to watch come March and the Haru Basho.
Kimarite Focus  
Mikko Mattila
Mikko's latest look at sumo's kimarite offers unequalled analysis and in depth explanations.
Amateur Angles  
Howard Gilbert
Howard looks at the 'sumo factory' of lore - Nichidai.
Kokugi Konnections
Todd Lambert
Click on Todd's bimonthly focus on three of the best the WWW has to offer.
Fan Debate
Facilitator - Carolyn Todd
Moti Dichne comes back for more and takes on Bradley Sutton on the subject of 'Modernize the heya - yea or nay?'
SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
In this issue's cartoon bonanza, sit back and sample Benny's artistic offerings.
Sumo Odds & Ends
SFM's interactive elements - as always includes Henka Sightings, Elevator Rikishi and Eternal Banzuke!
Let's Hear From You
What was it that made you a sumo fan? Ryan Laughton - sumo fan and menko expert reveals all.
Readers' Letters  
See what our readers had to say since we last hit your screens.
Sumo Quiz
The Quizmaster
Answer the Qs and win yourself a genuine banzuke.

Francois Wahl – President
of the Swiss Sumo Society

Interview by Mark Buckton

these problems remaining unresolved as we approach the 2007 championships?

FW: Some of the athletes who participated in the US tour seem to be able to join amateur sumo and participated in Osaka while others could not. The situation looks confused from here but my real problem is to guess how many rooms to book!
MB: I understand nothing has yet been announced on the length of, or even validity of bans imposed by the ISF prior to the 2006 event. Can you confirm this?

FW: Personally I have not seen anything regarding the length of any bans and as far as I can see there is no appeal system.

MB: Will the fact that the 2007 championships are being held in Europe play a part as far as the bans go? Any chance of leniency? Is it deserved?

FW: I am not really involved in those matters. Something may happen as it may affect the number of athletes. I suppose that if it is a life ban the offense must have been really serious since, in the case of doping, for instance, a cyclist would receive a ban of from 6 months to two years with the possibility of an appeal.

1 Bans that excluded attendance at official events in Osaka by the European Sumo Union (ESU) General Secretary (interviewed here) as well as several prominent European athletes


Faced with the sudden and very real possibility of the 2007 Sumo World Championships, scheduled to take place in Switzerland, being held with little or no television coverage and subsequently limited, if any, sponsorship due to (re)scheduling of event dates by the Tokyo-based International Sumo Federation (ISF), Mr. Francois Wahl, President of the Swiss Sumo Society, agreed to sit down with Sumo Fan Magazine across the miles, and continents, to have a chat:

MB: Francois, please share with SFM readers the reasons behind the recent loss of planned television coverage at the planned Lausanne event?

FW: It was down to a change of date (MB: when the event would take place) due to an event in Japan, I believe.

MB: How did this go down with the advertisers you had lined up?

FW: We lost all the advertisers but not only ‘on the ground’ / in the stadium. There will be a certain degree of TV coverage but what we call “news”- under 3 minutes of footage. TV pays nothing for that. What was originally planned was 51 minutes of coverage which, for sponsors, would make a lot of difference. If we find big enough sponsors from now, we could pay the production costs and air the championships on other channels but…
MB: Any good news on the advertising horizon?
FW: Well…hopes.
MB: Will the ISF provide support in this area?

FW: They are trying …Maybe through Sumo Fan Magazine too - maybe somebody will read this and will consider getting involved with amateur sumo.

MB: With the resident Swiss-based International Olympic Committee having presumably been invited to the championships in November, how do you think this lack of publicity and advertising will look in front of the people due to decide upon amateur sumo’s Holy Grail of Olympic inclusion?

FW: This will be rather annoying but it is difficult to judge the impact at present.
Several African countries with little chance in ice skating or horse riding competitions would like sumo to get in. There is unfortunately little chance for the Evala form of wrestling from Togo to get in but since it is like sumo they would possibly vote for it.

MB: Looking back at the 2006 event in Osaka, as you know, it didn’t go off as smoothly as it might have (due to bans1 imposed on some in European amateur sumo after their attemptto align with a profit-seeking US venture). Do you see


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