Brothers in Sumo –
part two

Brian Lewin
Brothers still active on the dohyo get their turn

Yokozuna Comparisons
Joe Kuroda
SFM’s most eminent historian, JK, has a crack at the impossible and tries to see who was the greatest of the tsuna wearers

Rikishi of Old
John Gunning
Takanobori – former sekiwake, former NHK man and all ’round gent

Heya Peek
Barbara Ann Klein
Kitanoumi-beya, Kitazakura, mirrors & photo bonanza

SFM Interview
John Gunning
Kazuyoshi Yoshikawa (son of the late sekiwake Takanobori) on life in sumo way back when

Sumo 101
Barbara Ann Klein
Behind every good man there stands a good woman – read and ye shall see. A departure from our regular 101 feature

Photo Bonanza
See the Hatsu Basho
plus much more through the lens of our photographers

Hatsu Basho Review
Lon Howard
Lon gives us his Hatsu Basho summary, along with the henka sightings results

Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila
Mikko Mattila covers lower division goings on in detail

Haru Basho Forecast
Pierre Wohlleben & Mark Buckton
Pierre predicts the Haru Basho banzuke while Mark highlights the ones to look out for in Osaka

Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko takes us on a tour of his chosen kimarite

John McTague
John’s unique bimonthly view of sumo news from outside the dohyo and in the restaurants!

Online Gaming
Alexander Nitschke
SFM’s own Alexander Nitschke covers the long running Hoshitori Game

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

Fan Debate
Feb's debate sees
a pair of Kiwis exchanging opinions on the honbasho going on the road

SFM Cartoons
Benny Loh & Stephen Thompson
In the third of our cartoon bonanzas, sit back and enjoy BL’s offerings and put a caption to ST’s pic to win yourselves a banzuke

Let’s Hear From You
What was it that
made you a sumo fan? A unique perspective from a sightless reader.

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

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

Haru Banzuke Prediction

Text by Pierre Wohlleben
Photos by Barbara Ann Klein
fare so well, dropping out halfway through the basho with

injuries. They will be kadoban once again in March, for a record-setting ninth time each. As though that wasn’t enough, these are also kadoban #99 and #100 in the history of sumo, for another dubious entry into the record books.

Our two sekiwake are familiar faces as Hakuho and Kotomitsuki both hold on to the rank, but trade places, thanks to Hakuho outpacing the Sadogatake veteran by five wins. More importantly, Hakuho finds himself positioned for another run at the ozeki rank after notching 22

Welcome to the first banzuke prediction of the new year. Without further ado, let’s get right to what ought to be another tricky banzuke, albeit for completely different reasons to two months ago.

As you will recall, Hatsu Basho saw the return of the dreaded banzuke elevator. The intrepid, but mostly outclassed, group of rikishi who were moved into the top competition pretty much did what everybody expected them to do and went make-koshi, although not nearly as badly as might have been. With “only” 10 to 11 losses apiece, they managed to hold their own, and all of them will likely not fall too far on the new banzuke. On the flipside, none of the regular top guys who had a spell of lower-level competition in January did anything outstanding (with one notable exception), leading to a new banzuke that should feature many small movements rather than the wild jumps and falls we had last time. Of course, this means that a lot of the banzuke-
making decisions are much less clear-cut this time around, as many rikishi can be moved a half-rank or two without upsetting the overall balance and structure too much. Should be another interesting round in the Guess The Banzuke game, at any rate.

After the ozeki promotion of last basho, we’re back to familiar stability at the very top of the banzuke. Asashoryu remains the sole yokozuna, but for the first time in more than a year we have a pretender to the throne. Tochiazuma’s dominating 14-1 yusho in January puts him into position for promotion to yokozuna with another yusho, or perhaps even with a strong showing of at least 13 wins. Following him in the ozeki 1 west slot for Haru Basho is recently-promoted Kotooshu, who did not dazzle last month, but got through his shin-ozeki tournament with a minimum of problems and achieved the customary 10 wins expected of an ozeki. The two veterans Chiyotaikai and Kaio did not
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