<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.

Riho Rannikmaa

Interview by Carolyn Todd

sumo to just grit your teeth and keep going.

RR: Yes, but it was a good decision. Considering his future, it has to be healed completely. He’s currently undergoing treatment and exercising. At the basho in May, he’s determined to reach makuuchi again.

CT: And how is sumo faring in Estonia since you hosted the World Junior Championships last year?

RR: As you know, Kaido came to Rakvere to support us and that was a great help. The usual sumo people came but many people came to see Kaido and experienced the sumo event too, so we had more exposure. Having a successful professional rikishi from Estonia has a big effect on the popularity of the sport.

CT: Do you think it will encourage more Estonian youngsters to take up sumo?

RR: Well, in Estonia, schools hold summer and winter Olympic Games, and now they’re starting to include sumo, so yes, the popularity is growing.

CT: How are your sumo facilities in Estonia?

RR: Well, unfortunately, we usually only have a plastic dohyo, placed flat on the ground, so the atmosphere isn’t very inspiring. For the Junior World Championships we built a real clay dohyo using local construction workers, and that was great! The IFS was pleased with the construction.  (SFM note: Riho has been honoured with an official Certificate of Commendation (Gaimu Daijin Houshou) by Taro Aso, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, for


In the midst of the makuuchi bouts on Day 13 of the Osaka Basho, I hung out in the nosebleed seats with Riho Rannikmaa, Secretary General of the Estonian Sumo Association, and his wife Renata, who very graciously acted as translator. Riho runs the Sakura Budo Club in Vinni, 8km from Rakvere (site of the Junior Amateur Sumo Championships in 2006), and is an old sensei, friend and mentor of Baruto.

CT: Thanks for meeting me at the basho today Riho. Is this your first time in Osaka?

RR: Oh no, we’ve been here many times for amateur sumo events, but this is our first honbasho. We usually watch the stream, when we can get on it!

CT: This is your first basho?! What brought you to Osaka this time, considering that your prodigy Baruto is out injured?

RR: Well, of course, we were planning to come and watch Kaido (Baruto) and we made the reservations before he withdrew, so we decided to come anyway.

CT: Have you managed to speak to him while you’ve been here?

RR: Actually, we saw him this afternoon before we came to the basho. He’s quite fed up, stuck at the heya while the others come to the basho. We wanted to meet him near here but of course he can’t because of all the fans.

CT: How’s he doing? I know that everyone misses him and wants an update.

RR: Well, you know, he wanted to take part in this basho but he and his oyakata decided that he should pull out because of the condition of his knee.

CT: That’s quite surprising considering the usual attitude in

Riho and Renata


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