<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.

Letters to the Editor

in various ways:  supporting Sumo Kyokai functions, sponsoring events, giving financial awards to lower division yusho winners, etc.  They are especially supportive of the lower division rikishi who don't receive a salary.  They are forbidden from clapping or cheering for a specific rikishi at hon-basho since they support sumo in general.  Their membership is limited in number and requires a hefty initiation fee, as well as expected annual contributions reported to be from one to two million yen, and other donations as well.

The man in the gold hat is the head of the supporters club of the Japanese Olympics, and thus calls himself “Olympic Ojisan.”  He says he hasn’t missed an Olympics since Tokyo 1964, and usually attends every Tokyo basho, as well as the others, sometimes.  He also carries a golden colored fan with a Japanese ‘rising sun’ emblem on it.  He’s just a quirky guy (a company owner) who loves sumo and likes to promote things Japanese.  Most people seem to like him a lot, except possibly for those that are unfortunate enough to be sitting behind where ever he is standing at the time.

I hope this is the information you were seeking.  Thank you again for the interesting questions and for being a sumo fan. 

Best regards,
Lon Howard
Sumo Fan Magazine


Each issue, we will feature a letter from one of our readers. The sender will receive a sumo-related prize of our choosing.

I've never thought of Canada as a Third World country, but we are denied the Secondary English Translation Feed by our telecommunications company.  We've been watching Sumo for six years now picking up bits of Japanese as we go.  This leaves us plenty of time to be aware of things that pop up in the background, so my questions have more to do with the audience this time.   I so appreciate your e-zine because you seem to anticipate some of the questions I have.  Keep it up!
Two bashos ago there were two rows of audience members whom I think I have identified as Noh actors.  They were dressed in black with white face paint and exaggerated, geometric facial features.  Do you have any information on them?
And this time, I am aware of the audience participants in the first several rows (ground level) wearing simple construction brown jackets.  The jackets are identical, being short with unconstructed sleeves.  Are these participants part of a specific group?   Of course, I am missing the man in the gold hat.

Thanks for any information you can bring to me.
Sherry King
Vancouver, BC Canada

Hello Sherry,

These are very interesting questions, and I would like to thank you for spurring us to broaden our own knowledge as well.  Thanks are also in order to our resident sumo historian, Staff Writer Joe Kuroda and Editor-in-Chief Mark Buckton, for assisting with the answers.

The audience members with the white faces were not Noh actors, as Noh actors would either wear a mask or would have no makeup at all.  Some Kabuki actors wear white make-up but only on stage, and as individuals - not as an entire group, out in public.

The people you saw were a group of Geisha who attend the Kyushu basho each year as a group, sitting two to a masu-seki (that normally seats four).  They are dressed in public as you describe (not always in black, though).  They are thought by some to have a connection with Tomozuna-beya (ozeki Kaio's heya), as they all get up and leave after Kaio's bout.  Kaio himself is from Kyushu.     

The people in the brown jackets are recognized financial supporters of the Nihon Sumo Association (as opposed to individual heya or rikishi).  They are known as Tozai Kai in Osaka and Tamari Kai in the other three cities where hon-basho is held.  They contribute their own private funds to support sumo 


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