Brothers in Sumo –
part one

Brian Lewin
Brothers no longer active on the dohyo come under the SFM microscope

NHK & the Ozumo
English Broadcast

Mark Buckton
A visit to NHK, years of watching the show and the opinions of our Ed-in-Chief

Hanging With the Rikishi
Barbara Ann Klein
Barbara Ann Klein recounts her experiences with the “boys” in a pictorial diary series

Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
A look at a rikishi of yesteryear with Chiyonoyama – our man for December

Sumo Exhibit at the
Edo-Tokyo Museum

Barbara Ann Klein
SFM’s Editor takes in the exhibit celebrating 80 years of the Japan Sumo Association at this famous Tokyo museum

Heya Peek
John Gunning
John’s early morning trip to Hakkaku – a visit that almost didn’t happen

SFM Interview
Dave Wiggins sits down
with SFM’s Mark Buckton to discuss the broadcast scene – and maple syrup

Photo Bonanza
What a collection – All-Japan Sumo Tournament, Hakkaku-
beya visit and sumo exhibits at the Edo-Tokyo Museum

Kyushu Basho Review
Lon Howard
Lon gives us his Kyushu Basho summary, along with the henka sightings results, and his take on the year in brief

Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila
Mikko Mattila covers lower division ups and downs

Hatsu Basho Forecast
Pierre Wohlleben & Mark
Pierre predicts the Hatsu Basho banzuke while Mark previews the ones to watch for in January

Sumo 101
Eric Blair
Eric explains all you need to know and then some about the Kokugikan building – the mecca of sumo

Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko walks us through his chosen kimarite in expert fashion

John McTague
John’s unique bimonthly view of news from outside the dohyo

Online Gaming
Eric Blair
For the lowdown on Guess the Kotomitsuki – baby of SFM’s John Gunning

Kokugi Connections
Todd Lambert
Todd’s bimonthly focus on 3 of the most interesting sumo sites today

Fan Debate
Intra heya bouts –
OK or not? See what our debaters had to say

SFM Cartoons
Stephen Thompson
In the second of our cartoon bonanzas, sit back and enjoy ST’s offerings

Let’s Hear From You
What was it that made you a sumo fan? American Todd Defoe tells all

Readers’ Letters
See what SFM readers had to say since our last issue

Sumo Quiz
The Quizmaster
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho’s banzuke.

SFM Interview – Dave Wiggins

by Mark Buckton
pro-sports commentator. That said, I did like watching the Hawaiians as I’d just spent fifteen years in the islands.

MB – Are you friends with any of the rikishi?

DW – I’m friendly with some, but I wouldn’t call any particualr rikishi a friend.

MB – Where do you see the NHK English language broadcast heading in the future?

DW – It may be nice to see the English side commentators get some ‘face’ time as you never know what we look like. However, working along those lines, my mush could end up hurting the ratings!

MB – Does such a broadcast have a global future?

DW – With the emergence of the European rikishi in recent years and the increasing interest in sumo over there, I see this as the growth area. Across the pond, it could be said that interest peaked with the Hawaiian era, so things may be tougher stateside.

MB – You are known for your “get out the maple syrup grandma, it’s pancake time” catchphrase every time a rikishi

Next Home
Dave Wiggins first came to Japan back in the late 80s. Putting a career in radio and TV sports commentating and even spells coaching in baseball and American football behind him, he took the plunge and entered a culture far removed from his own. As time passed he found himself back in the media world – only this time with sports a la japonais the focus of his attention. Besides working in various fields in and out of the Japanese media over the years, Dave has been a play-by-play man on the NHK English language broadcast since day one. He’s seen it all over the intervening decade and a half and will hopefully keep producing the goods for years to come – as, we hope, will his Grandma with her seemingly endless supply of maple syrup!

Mark Buckton – How long have you been a play-by-play man Dave, and how did you get into it?

Dave Wiggins – Just over 13 years ago now. I actually got into sumo play-by-play having had the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time as it was only a couple of years after I arrived in Japan that the English broadcast started. Shonichi of the 1992 Nagoya Basho.

MB – What do your family and friends back in the U.S. think of you commentating on sumo?

DW – In all honesty, they think it is fascinating. A few times jaws dropped of course, but overall they are pretty
impressed. Of course, my Mom and Dad are proud.

MB – How do you rate the current state of the sport as against when you first saw and took notice?

DW – I don’t see it as quite as good now. Chiyonofuji was dominating a quality field when I was first taking notice of the sport, and doing so in such style that it did seem boring at times. A while later with the Ake/Taka era, there was a greater depth of talent and I enjoyed that era a lot.

MB – Over the years have you had a personal favorite?

DW – On air, no – neutrality being the name of the game as a