What Will Become of the Dynasty?
The Hanada Dynasty – past or present?
Rikishi of Old
A look at a rikishi of yesteryear with Tenryu our man for August.
John attends a chanko session at Chiganoura Beya.
For a glimpse at some of the sights you won't see on TV.
July Basho Review
Lon Howard & John Gunning
Lon gives us his Nagoya Basho summary and his take on upset of the tournament while John chips in with his ‘gem’ of the basho.
Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila takes a break and Eric Blair covers the lower divisions in his own ‘unique’ way.
Aki Basho Forecast
Pierre Wohlleben & Mark Buckton
Pierre predicts the Aki Basho banzuke while Mark previews the ones to watch next time out.
Barbara Ann Klein
Gyoji goings on and several things you never knew about the ones officiating.
Mikko walks us through his 2 chosen kimarite.
John's unique view of news from outside the dohyo.
Boletín de Sumo en Español
Eduardo de Paz Gútiez
An article on sumo’s very first fan mag – Boletin de Sumo en Espanol
Hear from the founder of Bench Sumo of one of sumo's most popular games.
Todd’s focus on 3 of the most interesting online sumo sites today.
Henka – good, bad or ugly? See what our debaters think.
Let’s Hear From You
What was it that made you a sumo fan – the Petros Zachos story.
Ngozi on the Road
Ngozi T. Robinson
NTR visits an amasumo event in the north-east U.S. and tells us what it was like.
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho's banzuke.
Gem of the Basho
by John Gunning
good sumo he displayed this time out.
Also, who couldn’t like Futeno? His daily blog with its honesty and humour gives us a feeling of involvement that we don’t have with any other sekitori. Contrast that with the (in appearance, at least) colder, more withdrawn attitude of Kotooshu, and it’s easy to see which wrestler would get any sympathy points that might be available. That said, however, the little wink to the camera when being interviewed after his win over the yokozuna might, I hope, herald the start of a more relaxed Kotooshu.
I think, though, the thing that impressed me most about Futeno is that once he overcame that amazingly tough first 8-days schedule – in which he had to face the yokozuna, all three current (plus one former) ozeki, Kotooshu, and Hakuho - he did what had to be done in the second week and won all his matches. Yes, I know he technically lost to Takamisakari but this is my article and, as the Trainman said in Matrix Reloaded: “Down here I make the rules. Down here I’m God”. So, I am reversing the shinpans’ decision on that one.
Actually, there are quite a few decisions I would like to reverse this time out but that’s a whole different article. So congratulations to Futeno and see you all next time out.
I dunno, maybe it’s the humidity, but I’m deadly serious when I say that I considered giving the Gem of the Basho title for Nagoya 2005 to the day five match between Kyokushuzan and Tochiazuma – purely on the basis of that amazing komatasukui win in which the waza master dumped the stocky ozeki on his rear end. However, I decided to stick with the true spirit of this article, which is to name the rikishi who had the most outstanding performance when all circumstances are considered.
Straight off the bat I’m going to tell you that I have awarded the prize (and the year’s free subscription to Sumo Fan Magazine that comes with it) to……… Futeno!
Photograph by Barbara Ann Klein
Kotooshu, with his fine 12-3 ran him close and, indeed, many people might say that he was a more deserving winner as he achieved his record from a much tougher rank. There were, however, a few factors that swayed (or clouded) my judgement. The first is that while Futeno was an outstanding university wrestler and was expected to rise straight to the top in Ozumo, it is only now that we are finally seeing what he is capable of. Like many people, I am hoping that this is the start of something new and that the potential which is clearly evident in the Kumamoto native will at last be realized.
Indeed, for me, at least, it was a surprise to see how much Futeno struggled after his promotion to the top division. He even had a trip back down to juryo at the start of this year, but bounced straight back and, since, has had three winning records in a row of 8-7, 11-4 and 10-5. Futeno is known to have a history of overtraining, resulting in the perception that he has often seemed to lack that “something extra” when it comes to competition time. However, perhaps now he has found the right balance and we will continue to see more of the