<DATE> Contents

Sumo Souvenirs  
Mark Buckton
Second of a two parter on sumo souvenirs - some hints on avoiding the fluff.
Chris Gould
Takamiyama's 60s / 70s successes notwithstanding Konishiki was sumo's first full-on mover and shaker from lands afar leaving Chris G to take an in-depth look at the ripples the big guy left behind when exiting the sumo pool.
Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
Joe Kuroda's looks back at the life and times of former yokozuna Shiranui.
Eric Evaluates
Eric Blair
Eric IDs the true winners of the henkafest that was the Haru Basho senshuraku.
Rikishi Diary
Mark Kent
Mark Kent - English pro-wrestler and amateur heavyweight sumotori - takes his training a step further on his road to European and World sumo glory.
Heya Peek
Mark Buckton
Oitekaze Beya just to the north of Tokyo and not far from the abode of SFM's Ed-i-C falls under the microscope.
SFM Interview
Carolyn Todd
Carolyn interviews Riho Rannikmaa during his recent trip to Osaka - head of all things sumo in Estonia, friend and mentor of Baruto, this is a man with something to announce.
Sumo la LA
Alisdair Davey
SFM's man in the shadows reports on his recent jaunt in LA, as guest of the Californian Sumo Association and SFM reporter at large.
Photo Bonanzas
Hot on the heels of the recent Ise bonanza - Haru up close and very very personal - some of our best pics to date.
Haru Basho Summary
Lon Howard
Lon wraps the Haru Basho and chucks in a few bits on the henka issues the top dogs are suffering from at present.
Sumo Menko
Ryan Laughton
Sumo cards of old brought to life once again by expert collector Ryan Laughton. None of your BBM offerings here - Pt II of III.
Natsu Ones To Watch
Carolyn Todd
Carolyn ponders the ones to watch come May and Natsu when sumo comes home to Tokyo.
Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko's latest look at sumo's kimarite offers unequalled analysis and in depth explanations.
Amateur Angles
Howard Gilbert
On your marks, get set, go - Howard Gilbert walks us through the months ahead on the amateur calendar.
Kokugi Konnections
Todd Lambert
Click on Todd's latest selection of the best sumo sites the WWW has to offer.
Fan Debate
Facilitator - Carolyn Todd
Should it or shouldn't it? Honbasho go on the overseas road that is. See what SFM's Chris Gould and James Hawkins have to say.
SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
In this issue's cartoon bonanza, sit back and sample ST's latest 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 - A. S. - the face in the crowd reveals almost all - to see everything you'll have to close your eyes.
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.
Haru Basho Summary
Text by Lon Howard
Photos by Carolyn Todd
voiced dismay and a call for corrective action, Kitanoumi Rijicho announced the blow had occurred in the “course of the bout.”  This was echoed by Kisenosato himself, after some ‘counseling’ by his oyakata.  Kokonoe oyakata said something about this kind of action being what drives Asashoryu, but that he didn’t feel good about it and that it “wasn’t pretty.” After his match with Kisenosato, while watching the Kokkai-Iwakiyama replay on TV, Asashoryu quipped to some on-lookers that the gyoji had blown the call in that match, and also said that Tochiazuma had crumbled to the pressure of his seven-bout winning streak – while that would not have happened to him.  In all, it was a very un-yokozuna-like day at the office for him, despite his win.

From here, few expected Tochiazuma and Kotomitsuki to stay in the yusho hunt – and they didn’t.  For Tochiazuma, there were health issues, including serious doubt whether he would even enter Haru due to his battered left knee.  After securing his kachi-koshi on day 10 and thereby avoiding demotion, he withdrew on day 12 with his eight wins.  A few days later came the shocking news that he had suffered a possible stroke at some unknown prior time.  Right now it’s not known if he can even continue his career.  In the case of Kotomitsuki, it was just because he was, well, Kotomitsuki.  By the end of day 12, he had gone down to Asashoryu for an astounding 25th consecutive time, and also


The 2007 Haru basho was a roller coaster.  It started ugly and then righted itself, only to crash into more ugliness on senshuraku, soon to be accompanied by frustration and confusion.  The ozeki quintet got it going on shonichi when three of them bit the clay, including ozeki Hakuho – the only one thought to have a chance of taking the Emperor’s Cup from yokozuna Asashoryu.  So it was already a bad day but then the yokozuna himself made it abysmal by getting himself turned around against shin-komusubi Tokitenku, and ingloriously shoved face first onto the dohyo by okuri-taoshi.  The next day he lost the tachiai to M3 Miyabiyama and then got into a swinging, slinging slugfest resembling his loss to Chiyotaikai on day 14 of last year’s Aki basho.  The result was the same, as Miyabiyama’s thrusts were more focused and controlled, winning over the gyoji’s gumbai in a you-pick’em finish with both men flying off the dohyo.

So the yokozuna entered day 3 with a kyujo story undoubtedly prepared should he fall for a third time.  It wasn’t needed as he plowed through M4 Futeno as if he wasn’t even there, walking him back and out in just seconds.  From there on he looked like the man in charge.  The yusho hunt then became very compelling on day 8 when kadoban ozeki 
Tochiazuma took his first loss against fellow ozeki Kotooshu, meaning that Asashoryu now controlled his own yusho destiny.  Hakuho had himself avoided further losses and was tied with Tochiazuma for the lead at 7-1, with Asashoryu and sekiwake Kotomitsuki just behind at 6-2. 


It was during – and following – this nakabi action that ugliness filtered back. After drubbing and slamming young M1 Kisenosato down, the yokozuna delivered a knee to his victim’s ribs well after the match was decided, this while the youngster was sprawled facedown.  Although some rank-and-file oyakata reportedly


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