<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 à 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.

When the going
gets tough...

by Eric Blair

annoyance at the fish across the jaws is an insult to the millions of women calling Osaka home. Irrespective of personal feelings towards sumo traditions and the like, Ota should have, needed to at the very very least, stand up for one minute and had herself counted.

By not doing so she transferred that slap across the jowls to each and every female in the ‘fu’ of Osaka, and if they are daft enough to give Ota another term on the back of this shoddy performance, they deserve nothing less; you get what you vote for!

So, onto the delightful Uchidate – the bronze medalist. Think about it, she could gripe and moan about tradition, culture and the like till the cows come home – could likely out-whine the best of them, but on this issue of her sex VS her belief in traditions surrounding a sport she is most noticeable by her absence. Where is she? What does she have to say on this? Have I missed her input? Is that a bead of Makiko’s sweat struggling to get past the wrinkles and prove Newton’s apple correct? When the going gets tough, looks like the tough women have done a bunk. Think about that.


Ed. Note:  The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Blair and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sumo Fan Magazine or other staff.

The ‘henkafest’ that made up the final couple of bouts on senshuraku of the recent Haru Basho had 3 winners – not just the Mongolian chap feted by many, myself included, as the next yokozuna.

Of course, and as is fully deserved for his well-executed slapdown of a hinkaku-lacking yokozuna on the day, ozeki Hakuho stands atop the pile – a name to be remembered forever in the annals of sumo history. Long after the readers of this piece / NHK viewers on that March 25th day of infamy are themselves pushing up daisies, however, it will be the fighting name of the man from Mongolia that the record books remember – Hakuho Sho.

In the here and now though, the other silver and bronze podium finishers as seen by yours truly were, in descending order, Osaka Governor (ess) Fusae Ota and darling of Japan’s TV screens, screenwriter-cum-YDC member Makiko Uchidate – a lady known less for her warm-hearted appreciation of things ‘Mongolian yokozuna’ and more for her adherence to and admiration of rules for the sake of rules – but a woman to boot. 

Ota is top dog of Osaka’s prefectural government and as the ‘ess’ above indicates, is a female member of the species. As
head honcho of one of Japan’s more vocal and supposedly culturally aggressive of cities then, one might expect a tad more oomph from this individual when it comes to the now routine slap in the face and ‘nope, you ain’t mounting our dohyo, lady, begone with you’ she gets from the visiting NSK each March when the issue of exactly who should present the trophy sponsored by her elected office comes around. Regrettably though, 2007 served up nothing new and as she has done every year, every March since being elected by her populace, Ota again opted to take this ‘don’t even think about it, lady’ slap across the chops with a wet fish squarely on the chin – presumably deemed a better course of action than rocking the proverbial ‘boat’ oared by oyakata - some return for the Osakan tax yen in a city that prides itself on its brusque in-your-face inhabitants!

Presumably Ota, in the time saved in ignoring equality, guaranteed by way of the constitution of this democratic land, was busy on senshuraku looking at ways to take a city forever sat in the shadows of Tokyo and even Yokohama back to the forefront of Japanese business and culture. Then again, perhaps not!

To not even make an effort at officially registering her

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